Looking for ways to inspire more Colorado pride in K-12 students, Governor Hickenlooper asked the Center of the American West to find ways to get more Colorado history into the classroom. In cooperation with History Colorado and many fine historians and educators from around the state, the Center of the American West put together five annotated resource sets for teachers. These sets cover topics like Mesa Verde, the Japanese Internment Camp at Amache, the town of Keota, Bent’s Fort: Trade in Transition, and the African American resort Lincoln Hills. These sets are also hosted on the History Colorado website and are available for free.

Japanese Imprisonment at Amache

This resource set addresses the Japanese Internment camp at Amache and asks students to think about how politicians know when they’re on the right side of history, how people build communities when they’re behind bars, and what it means to be a citizen of the United States. The set contains 17 primary sources ranging from photographs and newspaper clippings to Governor Ralph Carr’s speech denouncing the internment camps. Each primary resource is accompanied by annotations that give teachers some background and context. Real teachers have included suggested classroom activities that use the sources to investigate the resource set’s central questions, and Japanese Imprisonment at Amache can be used to meet 4th grade CDE standards in History and Civics as well as 8th grade and high school standards in history, geography, economics, and civics.

Bent’s Fort: Trade in Transition

This set tells the story of Bent’s Fort and investigates how family relationships influenced trade relationships on the Southern Colorado plains as well as the role Bent’s Fort played in the westward expansion of the United States. It also encourages teachers and students to think about what the fort’s existence tells us about the relationship between trade and war among American Indians and Colorado’s earliest American settlers. Through 18 annotated maps, diagrams, photographs, and portraits, Bent’s Fort: Trade in Transition can help students explore a foundational moment in Colorado history. Each primary resource is accompanied by a short essay for teachers explaining the resource and presenting the historical context. This resource set includes suggested classroom activities that can be deployed to meet CDE standards in: 4th grade history and geography; 8th grade history, geography, economics, and civics; and high school history, geography, and economics.

Homesteading and Hope: Keota, Colorado. 1888 – Present

This primary resource set paints a portrait of the defunct agricultural town of Keota, Colorado and situates the town within the broader economic, cultural, and ecological factors that led to its abandonment. It asks students to consider why the United States government would have encouraged homesteading, what kinds of people would be interested in building farming communities on Colorado’s dry plains, why the town of Keota was abandoned, and how former residents kept the memory of their town alive. With 23 primary sources ranging from photographs and maps to precipitation charts and newspaper articles, this resource set is the perfect way for students to examine the complicated push and pull factors that drew settlers to farming communities all across the state of Colorado. Each document has an annotation essay for teachers, and the documents contained within this set reveal the shifting social and economic landscapes of the early twentieth-century West. Highly qualified classroom teachers from across the state have compiled sample lessons and activities to accompany the primary resources. These lessons can be used to meet CDE standards in 4th grade economics, geography, and history. Homesteading and Hope: Keota, Colorado. 1888 – Present also meets 8th grade and high school standards in history, geography, economics, and civics.

Lincoln Hills and Civil Rights in Colorado

This innovative resource set examines the history of the historically black retreat known as Lincoln Hills. The 17 annotated documents contained in this set range from photographs to newspaper articles, and can help students understand why it was necessary for African American people to have a separate resort in 1920s Colorado, what the resort represented to property owners and visitors, as well as how the Civil Rights movement’s success changed Lincoln Hills. Each document has an annotation essay for teachers explaining what the resource is and how it might be interpreted in the classroom. Expert teachers have put together some suggested activities and lessons for this resource set, and Lincoln Hills and Civil Rights in Colorado meets CDE standards in: 4th grade history, geography, and civics; 8th grade history, geography, economics, and civics; and high school history.

Ancestral Pueblo Indians of Southwestern Colorado

This annotated resource set covers the lifeways of Ancestral Puebloan peoples in Southwest Colorado. It is useful as both an introduction to and an in-depth examination of how American Indian peoples confronted the challenges of life in Colorado’s often-harsh desert climate. The set asks students to consider who the Ancestral Puebloans were, why they no longer live in Southwest Colorado, and why it might be important to preserve the homes they left behind. Because it contains 19 annotated primary resources including depictions of daily life for Ancestral Puebloans and photographs of archeological sites and pottery, this set is a kind of virtual-field trip to the region. Real classroom teachers have put together a series of high-quality suggested activities that meet 4th grade, 8th grade, and high school CDE standards in history, geography, economics, and civics.

Resources