History & Social Studies


Course No. HI403E, HI503E

When William Overton and Asa Lovejoy paddled down the Willamette River in 1844, Overton decided that an open area called, ‘The Clearing’, would make a good town site. This was the beginning of Portland. Today, ‘The Clearing’ has been transformed into Tom McCall Waterfront Park, and Portland has become a beautiful, vibrant and diversified city. In this class, you will explore Portland’s colorful history, tracing its growth and development from a Wild West town containing dozens of saloons and brothels, to the more refined Portland of today. Along the way, you will examine the people and places that shaped this city and you will develop ways to make Portland’s history really come alive for your students.

Through a combination of historical readings, museum visits, and self-guided walks through downtown Portland, you will discover the city’s colorful past, examine the progression of architecture, urban parks, and historical landmarks. Most importantly, you’ll develop lots of ideas for teaching historical Portland to your K-12 students.

Working closely with you, the instructor will help design lessons for classroom use that will maximize student learning. The instructor can also show you how to implement fun and educational field trips that focus on the lives of Portland’s pioneers and their impact on our lives today.

The Co-Instructor for this course is Jake Gordon, M.S. Ed.

We advise you to review and download the course syllabus before registering. Syllabus
  1. How to teach Portland history, from its beginnings in the 1840’s up through the present.
  2. How to locate informative resources that will bring Portland’s past to life for students of all ages.
  3. How to lead informative class field trips that include visits to historical sites and landmarks.
  4. To enhance historical learning through museum and cemetery visits in Downtown Portland area.
  5. Dozens of ideas for integrating the study of historical Portland with other academic areas.

Tell a Friend