Teaching with Utah History

These Utah-based lessons and primary sources are geared for upper elementary and secondary students. They offer local examples of major themes in American and Utah history, world history, geography, economics, earth science/ecology/environmental studies, and more.

Our Past, Their Present: Teaching Utah with Primary Sources
The Utah Division of State History offers free primary source sets on major themes in Utah, U.S., and World history. Use them to explore immigrant experiences, diversity, racial and ethnic relations, Americanization, conflict and cooperation, economics, industrialization, transportation, migration, labor, and women's history.
  • Carbon County: Bringing the World to Central Utah
  • The Civilian Conservation Corps in Utah
  • Understanding Japanese Internment
  • Utah Railroads: Engines of Change
  • Utah Women During World War II
  • World War I: Utahns at the Front
John Jarvie Historic Ranch Curriculum
Lesson plans for grades 4 & 5 (but adaptable for older students) that use the primary and secondary sources available at Jarvie Ranch (near Vernal, Utah) to teach about the human history and natural history of this important landmark.
Primary Source Lesson Plans by Dr. Jeff Nokes
Engage your students in primary source analysis activities by Dr. Jeffrey D. Nokes, author of Building Students' Historical Literacies: Learning to Read and Reason with Historical Texts and Evidence (2013).
Utah State Archives
Primary Source Sets curated by the Utah State Archives which include historical context, discussion questions, and primary source examples for both elementary and secondary school students.
BYU ARTS Partnership
The Native American Curriculum Initiative supports learning and teaching about Utah’s Indigenous people through the arts. Access lessons and resources developed collaboratively with tribal nations, artists, and educators that use Native American perspectives to teach core curriculum.
History to Go
Compiled by the Utah State Historical Society for upper elementary and secondary students and teachers, this extensive site offers articles, exhibits, historic photographs on Utah history topics.
Park City Museum
Teacher resource on a miner’s family living in Park City. Curriculum on Park City mining.
Springville Museum of Art
Several resources for teachers that focus on Utah art and art history. SMOA also provides free posters and postcards of Utah art to any Utah teachers, and have a variety of lesson plans that integrate art with other subjects.
Transcontinental Railroad
Find lesson plans and resources that explore how the Transcontinental Railroad was built, how it impacted Native American communities, Chinese, Irish, and Mormon workers, and how the arrival of the railroad in Utah in 1869 forever transformed the state.
Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining 4th Grade Resources
These materials are designed to fit with the fourth grade curriculum in Utah history and geology. Learn about mining, how minerals are used, hear stories from miners who worked in these mines, and the dangers of abandoned mines.
Utah Humanities Teacher Guides
These teacher guides for middle and high school students are based on Utah Humanities’ collaborations with state scholars, produced in partnership with the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street traveling exhibition project. Each guide focuses on a different theme present in Utah history and provides digital slides featuring primary sources for the students to analyze.
Utah Women Making History: Lesson Plans from Better Days 2020
Primary source sets, activities, and lesson plans for elementary and secondary classrooms about Utah women's work for voting rights. Additionally, use the bios and illustrations of Utah women's advocates to explore diverse women's contributions to Utah through politics, art, education, business, and community leadership.
We Shall Remain
We Shall Remain: A Native History of Utah, is a five-part documentary produced by PBS Utah. Access the films and lesson plans exploring the distinct histories, cultures, ways of Ute, Paiute, Northwestern Shoshone, Goshute, and Navajo people.