One lesson format I use again and again for my high school classes is “learning stations.” In groups of 2-4, depending on the class, students work with primary and secondary sources to answer questions. I usually structure it so they can go to the stations in any order. I never do it on the first day of a unit to introduce a topic, but rather on the third or fourth day, so they can use what the prerequisite knowledge they’ve learned to interpret the documents.
I am including the learning station documents as a PowerPoint.
This set of learning stations was designed for an 11th grade US History II class. It includes oral history, photographs and newspaper excerpts about the Space Race and how it impacted ordinary Americans. The PowerPoint slides were printed out and stapled into packets for students to use at each cluster of tables. For some classes, I have given each group all the stations at once, but for most classes it’s nice for them to move a little bit and have a change of scenery. I am including the student worksheet questions below.