Historical Op-Eds

A tool to integrate argumentative writing and critical thinking into social studies and civics classes.  


Students who participate in our activity write an editorial (op-ed) article on an event in history as if they are currently living in that period.

This project aims at getting students think about historical events in the context of the appropriate historical period. By using their imaginations to immerse themselves in history, students will explore and address the societal and cultural differences of a previous time and write an article from the perspective of that period.

Through this exercise:

  • students will learn how to find and analyze primary sources,
  • develop strong thesis statements and persuasive arguments,
  • and think and write from an alternative perspective.

Overall, this project will foster not only strong analytical skills but also critical empathetic skills necessary for becoming an effective civic leader.

Universal Use: The activity can be implemented regardless of the current period or region being studied. For example, if the current unit is on the Revolutionary War, teachers can have students write about the Boston Tea Party as if they were writing on it for the next day’s New York Times.


Topics & Primary Sources

View sample topics and primary sources for major US and World History events.

Get Started

Download our sample assignment, and permission slip to help get you started!

Pizza Party

Every month, one classroom that has the highest participation rate (students who submit articles/total students in the class will win pizza for all students in the class.