HM - October 2018 - Intro


Greetings! Thank you for reading the October issue of History Matters! The theme for this issue is Empire and Expansion, an enduring concept that is often a key component in State, U.S., and World History courses. The two feature articles for this issue explore this theme in very unique ways. The first article written by Jennifer L. Weible and Lindsey Fisher describe a lesson plan they developed and used in Fishers’ World History class about the Silk Road. In this lesson, students were able to use a web-based platform called Aurasma ( to become both “consumers and producers” of information about the history of the Silk Road and how this trade route helped build empires throughout the region. 
In the second article, Tim Monreal, offers a U.S. history lesson plan that discusses the impact of American “Western Expansion” on Mexicans and Mexican-Americans thorough the film The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982). Using the Hollywood or History? strategy, students use primary and secondary sources to determine the accuracy of the film’s portrayal of the life and actions of Gregorio Cortez. In the lesson, students use the four dimensions of the NCSS C3 Framework as they work through an inquiry-focused activity that offers them a review of westward migration as well as an opportunity to explore social and political impacts within the “Borderlands.” In addition to a critical interpretation of Westward Expansion, Monreal offers a “classroom ready” lesson plan and graphic organizer. 
As always, we warmly invite you all to submit your own articles or lesson ideas for future issues of History Matters! If you have strategies, methods, or plans that could be useful for K-16 history teachers please consider submitting them to Scott Roberts ( and/or Charles Elfer ( We are all doing exciting and innovative work in our history/social studies classrooms throughout the country and our hope is to utilize History Matters! to share and exchange these ideas with members of the organization.

The themes for the remainder of the year are provided below:
November: Migration and Demographics 
December: Economic Transformation 
January: The Arts and Cultural Expression 
February: Technology and Progress 
March: Religion and Public Life 
April: Philosophies and Ideologies 
May: Family and Gender 
June: Globalization and Human Rights
Thanks again for your readership and we wish you a healthy and happy October! 

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.