Lesson Plans

Using the Oregon Encyclopedia in the Classroom

Public history resources are designed to serve wide audiences, and this one fulfills that purpose; but The OE is particularly suited for the classroom. The entries are written by experts in their subjects, and meticulously researched and fact-checked. Over 350 contributors from around the state have given their knowledge, experiences, and, perhaps most important, their voices to this one-of-a-kind Web site. The topics are varied, the entries are short, and the list of subjects grows every day as users take part in developing the site's content. This interactive element of The OE lends itself to effective curriculum development.

The History Minutes and the lesson plans are just the first of The OE's teacher resources. Continue to refer to The Oregon Encyclopedia Web site for additional resources on how to integrate The OE into the classroom. If you are an educator who is currently using The OE to teach history, literacy, and language arts curriculum, please let us know how you use this important resource with your students. We are always looking for new and creative teaching ideas to share with teachers across the state.

The Editors-in-Chief

History Minutes

Start the school day with a minute of Oregon History. History Minutes were developed as a collaborative project between The Oregon Encyclopedia (OE), the Oregon History Project (OHP), and the Oregon State Legislature. Each morning during the 2009 legislative session, a "minute of Oregon history" was read before the state's senators and representatives in commemoration of Oregon's Sesquicentennial. Each History Minute describes a valuable piece of Oregon history, part of the state's past that tells the story of Oregon's people and places.

Click here for the OE History Minutes page.

Lesson Plans

Elementary School Lesson Plan: Our Classroom Encyclopedia
Recommended for grades 4-6
Developed by Bethany Andrews, Jacob Carter, and Matthew Epplin

Middle School Lesson Plan: "Our Oregon"
Recommended for grades 6-8
Developed by Christine Campanella and Catherine Mermelstein

High School Lesson Plan: How to write for an encyclopedia
Recommended for grades 9-12
Developed by Santha Cassell


Need a great interactive research tool for your students?


Try Answerland, the Oregon online reference service. Librarians from Oregon and around the country help answer your research questions through live chat, email, or text. 

Click here

By using The Oregon Encyclopedia in the classroom, teachers can address the following Oregon Department of Education Social Studies Standards:

State & Local History: Understand and interpret the history of the state of Oregon.

  • Understand and interpret events, issues, and developments in Oregon history.
  • Understand and interpret events, issues, and developments in local history.

Social Science Analysis: Design and implement strategies to analyze issues, explain perspectives, and resolve issues using the social sciences.

  • Identify, research, and clarify an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon of significance to society.
  • Gather, use, and evaluate researched information to support analysis and conclusions.
  • Understand an event, issue, problem, or phenomenon from multiple perspectives.
  • Identify and analyze characteristics, causes, and consequences of an event, issue, problem or phenomenon.
  • Identify, compare, and evaluate outcomes, responses, or solutions; then reach a supported conclusion.