The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


Teacher Resources

As a high school teacher… I LOVE the show and make my students listen to various segments throughout the year. – Kathy from DC

I ALMOST can’t wait for next school to start so that I can require my kids to listen to the segment about the impact of death on America post-Civil War. Our first unit is Reconstruction and this was PERFECT as a discussion starter. – Jennie from MD

Teachers tell the History Guys that BackStory segments are well suited for use in the classroom, adding depth to discussions of the historical roots of contemporary issues. Shows like “Body Politics: A History of Health Care” give context to pressing social issues in today’s news. Seasonal specials like “American Pie: A History of Thanksgiving” reveal little-known facts about our holiday traditions, and are accompanied on our website by a wide range of resources for further exploration, including primary source documents and audio slide shows.

If you’re a teacher who has used BackStory in the classroom, we’d love to hear about your experience. Are there segments that you’ve found particularly useful? How have you integrated program audio into your teaching units? What could we do to make BackStory even more useful to you? Please, let us know.

If you’re not yet using BackStory, it’s easy to get started. On our website, you’ll find downloadable program excerpts, transcripts for the excerpts and the full episode, and resources for further exploration – all organized by episode. Excerpts are usually less than 13 minutes in length, and have been edited for stand-alone classroom use.

BackStory episodes and segments are also available free-of-charge in podcast form. Subscribe to our regular podcast and get each episode delivered automatically to your computer or mobile device as soon as it is completed. Or subscribe to our special iTunesU podcast feed (made possible through a partnership with the Virginia Department of Education), and receive episodes as well as shorter program excerpts.

And check out our new Facebook page for teachers.

Finally — if you have a lesson plan that includes BackStory content, and are willing to share it with other educators, please send it along – we’re eager to see how BackStory is used in the classroom, and how we can make it more useful and effective from an educators point of view.

Thanks for listening!