OER Project & standards alignment

Click on a highlighted state to see standards alignment materials!

August 17 Update: More course plans are here! Check out for new state-specific course plans for Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Texas, created by talented teachers with in-depth knowledge of their state’s standards. Scroll down (or click the map) to also find course plans for the following states: California, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin! If you don’t teach in one of these states, you may still find that one of these plans aligns quite nicely with your own standards. And don’t worry, we’ll keep adding course plans in the coming months!

A note about these course plans: We know that each course plan is as unique as each teacher.  We’re offering these as downloadable Word documents so you can tweak and make these your own!

The OER Project team has been hard at work making sure both our courses—the World History Project (WHP) and Big History Project (BHP)—align with state standards. Thus far, we’ve created standard alignment crosswalks and executive summaries for 10 states and the District of Columbia including Arizona, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Washington, and Wisconsin.

WHP was designed to balance world history content with historical thinking and reasoning practices in much the same way as most states have crafted their standards. Our historical thinking and reasoning practices include developing student reading, writing, and inquiry skills along with the creation of spiraling activities for causation, sourcing, contextualization, continuity and change over time (CCOT), comparison, and claim testing. As we’ve learned, no two states are the same, which is why we’ve taken the time and effort to align content from both our Origins and 1750 courses with each state’s standards.

BHP includes the history of the entire universe linked together through thresholds of increasing complexity. While that might seem like content overload, students will look at this history from different scales and use historical thinking and reasoning practices such as causation, interdisciplinarity, scale, and claim testing to assess the information that is presented in the course. The course is perfect for middle school, as it combines geography, Earth science, and history, among other disciplines, into one pretty amazing course.

If you don’t see your state on here, worry not, we’re not done yet! We’re adding more states to the list, and along with standards alignment documentation, we will be adding even more state-specific course plans and case studies. So bookmark this page and keep an eye out for an email update! In the meantime, feel free to have a look at one of the states listed above to see how WHP or BHP might work for your state. And if you’re curious about the status of alignment materials for your state, feel free to reach out to team@oerproject.com.

DC educators: don't worry! While it's a little difficult to see on the map, we do indeed have alignment documents for you in the list below.


cactus wren


California quail



wood thrush



northern cardinal



brown pelican


Baltimore oriole


American Robin


New Jersey

New York

eastern bluebird

North Carolina










State birds image credits

  • Arizona: The cactus wren often nests in cactus to avoid predators and is the state bird of Arizona. © John Cancalosi / Photolibrary / Getty Images Plus
  • California: The California quail, Point Reyes National Seashore, CA. © Dickson Images / Photolibrary / Getty Images
  • Colorado: Lark bunting on a fencepost. The lark bunting is the state bird for Colorado. © creighton359 / iStock / Getty Images Plus
  • DC: A wood thrush bathing in woodland wetland. It is the state bird for DC. © Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images Plus
  • Illinois: The northern cardinal among pear tree blossoms. It is the state bird of Illinois © Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images Plus
  • Iowa: American goldfinch is the state bird for Iowa. © Gary Carter / Corbis Documentary / Getty Images
  • Louisiana: A brown pelican flying off coast. It is the state bird of Louisiana. © Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images Plus
  • Maryland: A Baltimore oriole foraging during migration. It is the state bird of Maryland. © Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images Plus
  • Michigan: The American robin in the spring woods. It is the state bird of Michigan. © Johann Schumacher / Photolibrary / Getty Images Plus 
  • Nevada: Mountain bluebird feeding its young. It is the state bird for Nevada. © Sue Hsu / Getty Images
  • New Jersey: American Gold Finch perching pretty on an evening primrose plant. It is the state bird for New Jersey © Danita BirdImages / E+ / Getty Images
  • New York: The eastern bluebird s a small bird found in open woodlands, farmlands, and orchards. It is the state bird of New York. © Danita Delimont Gallo Images / Getty Images
  • North Carolina: Northern cardinal landing on a stump. It is the state bird of North Carolina. © Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images Plus
  • Pennsylvania: This ruffed grouse is drumming on a log with his outstretched feathers. The Pennsylvania state bird is the ruffled grouse. © photobirder / iStock / Getty Images Plus
  • Utah: Portrait of a seagull, the state bird for Utah. © keithsutherland / RooM / Getty Images
  • Washington: The American goldfinch in summer plumage. It is the state bird of Washington. © Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images Plus
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