Teaching EAS

We invite you to offer your pedagogical ideas or lesson plans for teaching early American studies, especially EAS articles, in high school, college, or university classrooms. Write for us.

  • Teaching EAS: An Introduction – Carina Seagrave
    EAS Miscellany’s series “Teaching EAS” highlights the many ways we can teach early American studies in our classes. Whether this consists of using an EAS article or how we discuss a particular topic in our classrooms, Teaching EAS aims to provide guidance to high school, college, and university educators in their lesson planning. We invite you to use our lesson plan template to demonstrate how you approach different topics in…
  • Teaching EAS: Asheesh Kapur Siddique’s “The Ideological Origins of ‘Written’ Constitutionalism”
    EAS Miscellany encourages educators to integrate articles from our journal into the classroom. As a part of our new series “Teaching EAS,” we invite you to use this lesson plan as a model for designing your curriculum and teaching Early American Studies articles. If you would like to create other lesson plans using EAS articles, please download our template here and share your plan with us. Teaching EAS: “The Ideological Origins of ‘Written’…
  • Teaching EAS: Amy Dunagin’s “‘Liberty or Death’: Patrick Henry, Theatrical Song, and Transatlantic Patriot Politics”
    EAS Miscellany encourages educators to integrate articles from our journal into the classroom. As a part of our new series “Teaching EAS,” we invite you to use this lesson plan as a model for designing your curriculum and teaching Early American Studies articles. If you would like to create other lesson plans using EAS articles, please download our template here and share your plan with us. Teaching EAS: “‘Liberty or Death’: Patrick Henry,…
  • Teaching EAS: Rachel Herrmann’s “Consider the Source: An 1800 Maroon Treaty”
    EAS Miscellany encourages educators to integrate articles from our journal into the classroom. As a part of our new series “Teaching EAS,” we invite you to use this lesson plan as a model for designing your curriculum and teaching Early American Studies articles. If you would like to create other lesson plans using EAS articles, please download our template here and share your plan with us. Teaching EAS: “Consider the Source: An 1800…
  • Teaching EAS: One Day in the Classroom – The French Revolution in America and the Reinvention of Revolution – Anna Vincenzi
    It was only in the early 1790s that Thomas Jefferson began trumpeting his authorship of the Declaration of Independence. Throughout the late 1770s and the 1780s, Americans essentially forgot the Declaration, and no one seemed to remember who had written it. But in the 1790s they started attributing new meanings to the document, making it into a metaphysical, almost sacred text. Jefferson’s fellow Republicans started celebrating him as the “immortal”…
  • Roundtable: Teaching with Games – Michael LaCombe, Guest Editor
    Preliminary Reflections – Rose Beiler and Judy Ridner, Co-Editors, EAS Miscellany Jump to Guest Editor Introduction | Jump to Games Roundtable Posts To what extent are games an effective and even inspiring pedagogy for teaching early American studies? What challenges do instructors and students confront when using games to teach? More specifically, to what extent do immersive, role-playing games like Reacting to the Past encourage students to more actively engage…
  • The Royal Geographical Pastime: A Game from 1770 – Holly Brewer
    For several years now I have had students in my U.S. history classes play The Royal Geographical Pastime: Exhibiting a Complete Tour Round The World. In which are delineated the North East and North West Passages into the South Sea, and other modern Discoveries.  Thomas Jeffreys, “geographer to the King,” who created and published it in London in 1770 at a moment when the British empire was very powerful, intended…
  • Indigenous Perspectives and Historical Empathy – Maeve Kane
    After portraying Benjamin Franklin in the Reacting to the Past game Forest Diplomacy, one of my students, who is enrolled at the Seneca Nation, said that she finally understood why settlers did what they did. She wrote in her post-game reflection that it was not until she had to inhabit the role of Franklin and advocate for Indigenous dispossession that she really understood why settlers had pushed (and continue to…
  • Gaming the Framing: To Teach the Convention, the Constitution, and the Founding – John Patrick Coby
    A Convention delegate—who shall go unnamed—while researching the backgrounds of his colleagues in Philadelphia, has uncovered information of a compromising nature; and being something of a scoundrel himself, he resolves to use that information in ways that will advance his own interests. One by one he approaches his targets, intimating that, for considerations, he might be willing to keep quiet about their secrets. When he comes upon Alexander Hamilton and…
  • Reacting to the Past for Early Americanists – Elizabeth George
    Class was over. It had been over for five minutes. I could see the next class growing restless in the hall. I interrupted a heated exchange among my students with an “ok, we’ll decide if he lives or dies next time!” The students immediately broke into smaller groups, everyone talking quickly, even as the next class came in and forced them away from the tables.  This is a typical class…
  • Building Student Engagement with Reacting to the Past – Christopher E. Hendricks
    A widow who runs a tavern in Manhattan stands before a gathering of representatives, some loyal to the Crown, others interested in severing their ties with Great Britain and establishing a new government. A group of women, enslaved people, craftsmen, and others listen as she petitions the august body to recognize property and voting rights for women in New York, when suddenly a mob forms and storms the assembly. The…
  • Controlled Chaos: Roleplaying Revolution in Southeast Texas – Brendan Gillis
    “We were acting more like the Paris Commune than the American Revolution,” a particularly perceptive student noted after a chaotic class session in Fall 2021.  Our upper-division history course on the revolutionary era was nearing the midpoint of a four-week unit given over to Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York City, 1775-1776, a roleplaying game in the Reacting to the Past series.1 By this point, the students to whom…
  • Harnessing Competitiveness for Good in RTTP Games – Brett Palfreyman 
    As a historian at a small college, I have the privilege of branching out beyond my area of specialization to teach courses in different regions, time periods, and themes. I have overseen Reacting to the Past (RTTP) games that recreate debates over the merits of democracy in Ancient Athens or discussions about the validity of the scientific method outlined in Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species. But, as an Early Americanist,…
  • Challenging Myths through Gameplay: Reacting to the Past and Popular Ideology in the Classroom – Joshua J. Jeffers
    A few years ago, I was teaching the second half of the U.S. history survey course and using the Reacting to the Past game Greenwich Village, 1913.1 My class included a student who had completed the first half of the survey with me where I had used Patriots, Loyalists, and Revolution in New York, and this student had excelled at it, ultimately planning and leading a successful slave revolt, a…
  • Teaching with Games Roundtable Q&A — Michael LaCombe with the Authors
    What can games in general (Reacting To The Past – RTTP – and others) do that other teaching activities and strategies cannot? Many of your comments talk about student engagement, or collaboration, but to what teaching or learning end?  How do you channel or focus engagement into written and oral communication, content knowledge or other course goals? The pedagogical payoffs of a roleplaying game, as with other forms of experiential…
  • Teaching EAS: Teaching the American Revolution as a Global Conflict – Abby Chandler
    Covering the American Revolution is a core expectation for teachers of early American history. I work at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a stone’s throw from Lexington and Concord. My career began in the public history field and drawing on local historic sites is my natural inclination in the classroom. And yet my course, “The American Revolution in the World,” strays further from Massachusetts with every passing year. Now that…