[semester equivalent = 3.33 credits]



Peter Chausse



In this diversified driving tour, K-12 teachers will explore at least 30 cultural and historic sites in the Portland Metro Area. Discover cultural museums, historic homes, poignant memorials, and a blend of the area's visual and performing arts. Along the way, participants will develop dozens of ideas for bringing the study of Portland's culture to your students, both in the classroom and on field trips.

The Co-Instructor for this course is Christopher Naze, M.Ed.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Studied the cultural history of Native Americans in the Northwest, including their lifestyles and their artwork.
  • Learned the significance of Asian Americans in Portland, including Japanese American history & Culture, Chinese Culture, and other Asian influences, with visits to museums and gardens.
  • Studied Pioneer History in the Northwest, by exploring museums, historic sites and historic homes.
  • Explored the history of African Americans in the Northwest, with visits to historic sites and art works.
  • Explored the history of aviation in the Northwest, with visits to several aviation museums and historic aviation sites.
  • Learned the importance of art in and around Portland, by studying public art in museums, throughout the city of Portland, and in suburban areas, and how art helps shape the culture of the Metro area today.
  • Learned the importance of remembering the past, by visiting several memorials in the metro area (Vietnam Veteran’s, Holocaust Memorial, Korean War Memorial) and historic cemeteries.
  • Learned the importance of science, technology and transportation in today’s modern society with visits to the 3-D Museum of Photographic Art, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), the OHSU Aerial Tram and other locations.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit.  The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit. 


Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participant’s their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



A comprehensive Course Workbook that includes the required reading, Field Journal, and Driving Tour is available from the instructor.

None. All reading is online.


A comprehensive workbook that includes the required reading, field journal, and Driving Tour is available from the instructor. See Order Form provided by The Heritage Institute after registration.



Assignment #1: BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

  • Read the articles in the workbook.
  • These articles, which focus on background information for each site, will provide insight into the city’s culture.
  • You will respond to focus questions about the articles by writing short paragraph answers.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #1’.

Assignment #2: BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

  • Search for pertinent materials available to you in your school library, Education Service District
  • and/or local library.
  • Compile an annotated bibliography to submit to the instructor.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #2’.

Assignment #3: BEFORE YOU TRAVEL

  • Complete a web search for sites concerning any of the sites or topics involved in this course.
  • Choose those appropriate for your personal studies and/or for future student use.
  • Submit an annotated list to the instructor.  
  • Note if they are student friendly.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #3’.

Assignment #4: AS YOU TRAVEL

  • Record what you actually find at each site in the “Field Journal.”
  • Write 1-2 paragraphs comparing what you read about each site in the workbook to what you actually found.
  • Provide pictures, pamphlets, maps and notes about other pertinent information to confirm actual site visits.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #4’.

Assignment #5: AS YOU TRAVEL

  • Give your impression of each site and make teaching suggestions.
  • Discuss how the site could be used to expand your teaching regarding any curriculum area.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #5’.

Assignment #6: AFTER YOU TRAVEL

  • Discuss the sites that were most valuable to you and why.
  • Include which ideas will work best for your students.
  • Write a 2-3 page review of your findings in the workbook.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #6’.



In this section you will apply your learning to your professional situation.  This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students.  If you are not teaching in a classroom, please contact the instructor for course modifications.  If you are a classroom teacher and start or need to complete this course during the summer, please try to apply your ideas when possible with youth from your neighborhood, at a local public library or parks department facility,  (they will often be glad to sponsor community-based learning), or with students in another teacher’s summer classroom in session.

Assignment #7: Create and teach lesson

Assignment #7-A:

  • Create two lessons or adapt existing ones to reflect what you’ve learned in this course.
  • Implement your lesson with students in your classroom.
  • Write a 250-500 word commentary on what worked well and what could be improved.
  • Include any student feedback on your lesson.
  • Share what you’ve learned with other teachers taking our courses by also contributing your Lesson to The Heritage Institute Lesson Library here.
  • Send your modified lesson and your commentary via email to your instructor.
  • Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #7A


Assignment #7-B:

Use this option if you do not have a classroom available.

  • Create two lessons or adapt existing ones to reflect what you’ve learned in this course. (Do not implement it.)
  • Share what you’ve learned with other teachers taking our courses by contributing your Lesson to The Heritage Institute Lesson Library here.
  • Write a 500+ word article concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher with one or more students.
  • Please refer to the guidelines on our blog What Works: Teaching at its Best prior to writing your article.
  • When you submit your article to your instructor, please also email a copy to Renee Leon THI blog curator and media specialist.
  • Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website.  
  • Submit your modified lesson along with your article via email to your instructor.  
  • Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #7B'


Assignment #8: Field trip

  • Research, plan and conduct a field trip to one or more sites.
  • Write a 3-5 page description of the trip.
  • Discuss the learning objectives and outcomes of the field trip, and outline preparatory and follow up field trip activities.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #8’.

Assignment #9: Colleague feedback

  • Evaluate your teaching unit by gaining the feedback of a colleague.
  • Make plans for future lessons with modifications.  
  • Submit a 1-2 page paper explaining the critique and the modifications you are planning. 

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #9’.

Assignment #10: (500 Level ONLY)

Option A)          

  • Write 1-2 pages comparing and contrasting the sites you visited in this course with your community. Discuss how these ideas can be implemented close to your school.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #10-A’.


Option B)

Prepare a photo-journal/display of the sites visited in this course for use within your teaching setting.

Discuss size of photo-journal/display with the instructor for pre-approval before beginning.

Discuss how you will use the project in a statement that contains:

  • how the display will integrate with current curricula
  • timetable for when it will be used
  • description of student learning outcomes
  • how you will assess the effectiveness of the project

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #10-B’.


Option C)

  • Another assignment of your own design with prior approval of the instructor.

Send to instructor: Subject line to read ‘Cultural Sites #11-C’.


Assignment #11: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments.)

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when, and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?

Send to your instructor at their email address. Subject line to read  "(put course name here) Integration Paper"


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Peter Chausse, B.S. is a former elementary school teacher, who has specialized in teaching his students about trees, plants, urban parks and natural areas.

Before beginning his teaching career, Peter earned a degree in Forestry from the University of Maine. His training included coursework in Dendrology (tree identification), Forest Management and wood product usage.

In the early 1980's, Peter worked for the U.S. Forest Service in the state of Washington, where he focused on tree identification and scientific observations. Since 1994, Peter has taught a course through The Heritage Institute titled, ‘Studying Portland’s Trees’ During the course, participants learn how to recognize several dozen tree species as they explore Portland’s parks and historic neighborhoods on foot. Ideas for the integration of tree study with math, art, science, literature, writing and social studies activities are presented and discussed.

Peter has had a lifelong love of trees, and is eager to help you acquire more tree knowledge. He is also dedicated to helping you bring this information to your students in fun and meaningful ways.  


Jake Gordon, M.S. Ed., graduated from Western Oregon University.  He became a teacher due to his desire to share the world with his students and give them the skills needed to explore and understand the world around them. 

In 2017 Jake took an academic sabbatical to pursue his graduate studies. He moved to Germany and completed a year of graduate studies at the world-renowned American Studies Leipzig Institute at the University Leipzig. With an expanded worldview and knowledge base, Jake returned to Oregon, where he earned an M.S. in Social Studies Education from Western Oregon University in June 2019.

He currently teaches social studies and geography at Adam Stephens Middle School in Salem, Oregon. In addition to teaching, Jake is an elected member of the Center for Geography Education in Oregon. 



Bottenberg, Ray and Jeanne, 2008, Images of America – Vanishing Portland. Arcadia Publishing

This book provides historic photos and information relating to the cultural history of the city, exploring former Downtown neighborhoods and ways of life in the 19th Century. It’s a good resource for understanding where we’ve come from, and where we’re going.


Demarco, Gordon. 1990.  A Short History of Portland. Lexicos Press. San Francisco, CA.

This concise book is one of the best accounts of Portland’s growth and development in the last 150 years. The culture of the city is explained, from the Native Americans, to Stumptown, through Boomtown development, periods of ethnic diversity and the changes during the last Century, to the present.


Foster, Laura O. 2008. Walk There! 50 Treks in Portland & Vancouver, WA. Metro. Portland, OR.

This brand new volume leads you on explorations of the Portland area, from the newest urban natural areas to classic parks and fascinating neighborhoods. As you walk, specific information brings each area to life, as information is provided relating to the history and culture of each venue.


Hawkins, William J. and William Willingham. Classic Houses of Portland, Oregon 1850-1950.

Provides in-depth information of more than 100 homes in Portland’s Metro area. Craftsman, bungalow, Victorian and Queen Anne home styles. The city’s culture and history can be seen in the development of residential architecture, and information in the book gives insight about the people who once lived there.


Inada, Lawson. 1992. Legends from Camp. Japanese American History

The realities of Internment Camps are revealed in this account about life for Japanese Americans in Portland prior to, and during World War II. This book is a good first step in understanding the hysteria in the United States following Pearl Harbor, and the treatment of Japanese Americans in the following years. The author also provided the text for the Japanese American Memorial Plaza is Portland. 


King, Bart. 2006.  An Architectural Guidebook to Portland.

Provides excellent historical and cultural information relating to nearly every building in Downtown Portland. The book brings to life little known features revealed about each site, and ornate details are explained. Historic and cultural information about buildings outside the Downtown area is also revealed.


Lansing, Jewel. 2001.  Portland: People, Politics & Power. OSU Press, Corvallis, OR

The author has provided an in-depth history of the city, outlining the growth and development of Portland during the term of each mayor. The author explains how political decisions impacted people throughout the city, discussing ethnic diversity, cultural development and changes in transportation and commerce.


Thompkins, Jim.  2005. Images of America – Oregon City History, Arcadia Publishing

The history of Oregon City, the oldest city west of the Mississippi. Although the city is of moderate size today, it was once the capital of the Oregon Territory, an area that encompassed land from present day Oregon to Canada and Montana. Historic photos and cultural changes are well documented in this book.


Wong, Marie Rose. 2004. Sweet Cakes, Long Journey: The Chinatowns of Portland, Oregon. The Scott & Lauri Oki Series.

History of the Chinese in Portland is well documented. Their role in building railroads, and providing invaluable services is outlined. Widespread discrimination and racial separation is also explained. 


Wood Wortman, Sharon. 2006The Portland Bridge Book. Urban Adventure Press, Portland, OR.

This outstanding book provides historic and modern photos of Portland’s Willamette and Columbia River Bridges. Provides the reader with facts about each bridge, historical and anecdotal information provides insight into bridge selection locations, styles of bridges and future concerns. A great resource.