HM - April 2019 - Call for Lesson Plans


Call for Lesson Plans for an Edited Book!

Hollywood or History? An Inquiry-Based Strategy for Using Film to Teach World History

Editors: Scott L. Roberts and Charles J. Elfer

Teaching and learning through Hollywood, or commercial, film productions is anything but a new approach and has been something of a mainstay in the classroom for nearly a century. However, purposeful and effective instruction through film is not problem-free and there are many challenges that accompany classroom applications of Hollywood motion pictures.  In response to the problems and possibilities associated with teaching through film, we are developing a collection of practical, classroom-ready lesson ideas that might bridge gaps between theory and practice and assist teachers endeavoring to make effective use of film in their classrooms. We believe that film can serve as a powerful tool in the social studies classroom and, where appropriately utilized, foster critical thinking and civic mindedness. The NCSS College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) framework, represents a renewed and formalized emphasis on the perennial social studies goals of deep thinking, reading and writing. We believe that as teachers endeavor to digest and implement the platform in schools and classrooms across the country, the desire for access to structured strategies that lead to more active and rigorous investigation in the social studies classroom will grow increasingly acute. Our hope is that this second edited book might play a small role in the larger project of supporting practitioners, specifically K-16 teachers of World history, by offering a collection of classroom-ready tools based on the Hollywood or History? strategy and designed to foster historical inquiry through the careful use of historically-themed motion pictures. 
We are seeking practitioner-focused proposals that will describe lessons plans using the Hollywood or History? strategy. Initial proposals should consist of the following:
  • A 1-2 page narrative which provides background on the film to be incorporated and a general description of the lesson idea proposed. Within the narrative, please include a brief explanation of the specific film clip(s) that students will view and provide tentative references for the primary and secondary sources selected for use in the lesson plan.
  • Placement of the lesson idea within one of the nine historical eras outlined in the list below.
  • Connection to relevant state and national standards, both literacy and content. Standards from at least three different states should be included.
NOTE: Proposal authors are strongly encouraged to review the article, sample lesson idea, and the first book in the series linked below for a clearer understanding of the Hollywood or History? strategy:
  • Roberts, S.L. (2014). Effectively using social studies textbooks in historical inquiry.
Social Studies Research and Practice, 9(1), 119-128. Avail:
  • Roberts, S.L., Elfer, C.J., & Fahey, B. (2014).  Hollywood or history: Little Round Top. Lesson plan developed for the Ivey Center for the Cultural Approach to History, Columbus State University. Avail:
Once a lesson plan proposal is accepted, authors will be asked to revise and formalize their lessons through a standardized template provided by the editors.
Proposals should be submitted via email as a Word document by May 31, 2019. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by August 1, 2019.
Positive review/proposal acceptance of a lesson plan does not necessarily indicate acceptance of the lesson plans for the final, published text. Authors whose proposals are accepted will be expected to submit a revised and extended lesson plan by October 30, 2019. Each submission will undergo double-blind peer review. The editor and publisher reserve the right not to publish a lesson plan if it is not written to the high academic standards and expectations of the editors and publisher.
Please send all proposals and inquiries to: Scott L. Roberts ( and/or Charles J. Elfer (

Tentative Schedule for Publication
Submission of lesson plan proposals: May 31, 2019
Notification of accepted lesson plan proposals: August 1, 2019
Submission of full lesson plan:  October 30, 2019
Peer reviews of lesson plans sent to author(s): December 31, 2019
Revised/Final version of chapters received by editor: February 27, 2020
Final book submitted to publisher: April 1, 2020
Anticipated publication: Fall/Winter, 2020

Scott L. Roberts, Ph.D. and Charles J. Elfer, Ph.D. are the Co-Editors for History Matters!

About NCHE

The National Council for History Education provides professional and intellectual leadership to foster an engaged community committed to the teaching, learning, and appreciation of diverse histories.