LIFE, LIBERTY, & THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
A History of the American Experiment
A free online U.S. History Resource
What It Is
OpenStax and the Bill of Rights Institute’s U.S. History resource is a different kind of history textbook based on narrative, compelling stories. With contributions from nearly 100 scholars, this resource invites students to investigate the central themes and ideas of American history. The entire resource will be hosted on OpenStax’s Tutor platform, which allows for adaptive learning at no cost to your district. All of the content will be available for review by April 30, 2020, and the resource will be fully launched by August 1, 2020.
How It Is Structured
Each unit is divided into chapters that contain various components. Each component includes review and stimulus-based multiple choice questions. In addition, each unit has a summative essay activity. The components included in each chapter are as follows:
How much will this resource cost my district?
- This textbook is the first entirely free US history resource that aligns with AP standards. It is available to any student or educator, and it’s also openly licensed for use. Plus, since it’s digital, it means no more heavy books to carry around!
My district chooses my textbook for me. How can I still use Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness in my classroom?
- This resource is designed so that it can serve as the primary textbook for a U.S. History classroom or support the work you are already doing with your existing text. It is also fully aligned to the College Board’s AP U.S. History framework.
Can this resource be used in an AP U.S. History class?
- This resource is structured to closely follow the College Board’s AP U.S. history framework.
Who wrote the content for this resource?
- Unlike a traditional textbook, Life, Liberty, & the Pursuit of Happiness was written, edited, and reviewed by distinguished scholars from nearly 100 universities and historical organizations, including Yale, Stanford, the University of California-Berkeley, Notre Dame, and Georgetown. Experienced teachers have piloted and helped create the textbooks content and assessments.
What makes Life, Liberty & the Pursuit of Happiness different from other textbooks?
- This resource invites students to investigate the text as a secondary source. The diverse scholars and types of narratives mean that each component is an opportunity to question and to learn. We want the student to be in a constant mindset of historical investigation. In addition, the resource provides a wealth of supplementary materials and is fully adaptable and customizable to the needs of your classroom. As a teacher, you can choose the appropriate assignments and assessments that fit your classroom and pacing, and you can review student and class learning metrics in real time. Students can also see their own learning metrics and practice questions that align to their weakest topics. These tools allow students to take ownership of their own learning and instructors to teach more efficiently.
I want to learn more! When will this be available, and how do I bring this to my school?
- The first four chapters of this resource covering 1491-1800 will be available in spring 2020. The full resource will be available in fall 2020. Contact Mallory Kinder from the Bill of Rights Institute at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how to get involved.