The Education American Students Deserve

The Hillsdale 1776 CurriculumThe Hillsdale College K-12 History & Civics Curriculum is a complete collection of lesson plans for teaching American history, civics, and government to K-12 students. Students who study using this curriculum learn about American history from the colonies through the Civil War at four different times during their K-12 years, each time increasing in depth. The curriculum also includes American history since the Civil War and American government and civics for both middle and high school students.

This curriculum provides teachers with guidance—not dictates—about how to plan and teach a given topic in American history or civics. This guidance includes Hillsdale College-vetted books, online courses, and other resource recommendations; lists of content topics, stories to tell, and questions to ask of students; “Keys to the Lesson” that clarify important points for teachers to keep in mind; student-ready primary sources; and sample assignments, activities, and assessments. 

The Hillsdale College K-12 History & Civics Curriculum (which includes The Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum) is the product of Hillsdale College professors and some of the very best K-12 teachers, both past and present, derived from and created for real classrooms with real students taught by real teachers. It is an ongoing and transparent project based on the most current accurate scholarship as well as novel insights from K-12 teachers. 



“ other institution provides curriculum anywhere near Hillsdale’s level.”

David Randall, National Association of Scholars


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Free to All Who Wish to Learn

The Hillsdale College K-12 History & Civics Curriculum  is a FREE, top-tier American history and civics curriculum that includes:

  • American history lessons from pre-European Exploration through Reconstruction for K-12 teachers
  • American history lessons from the Gilded Age to present day for middle and high school teachers
  • Complete civics and government courses for middle and high school teachers
  • Hillsdale College-vetted book, online course, and resource recommendations
  • Student-ready primary sources
  • Sample assignments, activities, and assessments
  • An Introduction that includes the principles of the curriculum, pedagogical guidance, and advice for adopting the curriculum

A Note to Teachers

This curriculum is for you.


Read the Letter

Curriculum Overview

Hillsdale College K-12 American History

American History | Kindergarten-5th Grade

  • Unit 1 - The British Colonies of North America (1492-1763)
  • Unit 2 - The American Founding (1763-1789)
  • Unit 3 - The Early Republic (1789-1848)
  • Unit 4 - The American Civil War (1848-1877)

American History | 6th-12th Grade

  • Unit 1 - The British Colonies of North America (1492-1763)
  • Unit 2 - The American Founding (1763-1789)
  • Unit 3 - The Early Republic (1789-1848)
  • Unit 4 - The American Civil War (1848-1877)
  • Unit 5 - The Turn of the Century (1877-1919)
  • Unit 6 - The Interwar Years and World War II (1919-1945)
  • Unit 7 - Post-War America (1945-1974)
  • Unit 8 - Recent American History (1974-Present)

Hillsdale College K-12 Civics - The Hillsdale 1776 Curriculum

American Civics | Middle School

  • Unit 1 - The Declaration of Independence
  • Unit 2 - The United States Constitution
  • Unit 3 - Politics and Policy
  • Unit 4 - Challenging and Defending America's Principles

American Government & Politics | High School

  • Unit 1 - The Principles of America
  • Unit 2 - A Constitution of Principles
  • Unit 3 - Governing in the Constitution
  • Unit 4 - Equality in America
  • Unit 5 - Progressivism and the State
  • Unit 6 - Institutions and Policy
  • Unit 7 - Politics in Practice
  • Unit 8 - Late 20th Century Government and Politics
  • Optional Civics Activities - Fostering Civic Responsibility