NEH Summer Institute

A Summer Institute (Residential) for Secondary School Teachers (Grades 6–12) at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) in collaboration with Center for Inter-American and Border Studies (CIBS) and Institute of Oral History (IOH)

July 16th – July 30th, 2023

Applications Closed

Planning and Writing Your Lessons or Unit: Tools

E-Portfolio Project



Download all of this information HERE.


E-Portfolio Projects

The E-Portfolio projects, which will be housed in a Web platform and named Tales from the Chihuahuan Desert Borderlands: An Archive, will be single or coauthored lesson plans OR multimedia, interactive essays.

Either the plan or essay will have a summary of what each Summer Scholar learned about a concept presented and that is most applicable in his or her individual secondary classroom, grades 6–12.

All Summer Scholars are strongly encouraged to be creative, original, and responsible with their E-Portfolio Project.

The E-Portfolio must be completed to earn your full stipend.

You may preview the 2017 and 2019 E-Portfolios at our website.

Two Options

Summer Scholars will single-author or cowrite one lesson/unit plan OR one multimedia, interactive essay, using materials from the Institute. A template and sample will be provided for each option.

Since this is a Summer Virtual Institute, the essay format is strongly encouraged as an option to integrate readings and presentations that connect students to concepts and context.

Summer Scholars will use the resources on the project website along with resources and writings compiled through the E-Portfolio website to transform their Institute experience into an e-product.

Choose ONE of the following options:


Option #1: Multimedia, Interactive Essay

1.  Framework

Click here for the framework and sample essay.

2.  Resources

Quick Start Guide on Using MS Sway and Video

Bad Ideas about Writing

The Bedford Handbook

Bedford Bits Blogs

They Say / I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing 

OWL Modern Language Association, MLA Formatting and Style Guide

OWL American Psychological Association, APA Formatting and Style Guide

U.S. Web Design Systems, Design Principles

Essential Questions Handbook


Option #2: Lesson or Unit Plan

1.  Framework

Click here for the framework (recommend downloading this as a Word document to use as template) and sample plan in Word and Web format

2.  Resources

Helpful READINGS on pedagogical approaches.

Essential Questions Handbook


Plan, Design, Write, Complete

All Summer Scholars will have three to four hours each day to work on the E-Portfolio with additional time available during the two-week period. You may begin thinking about an essential question and using the readings you received to begin brainstorming and planning.

The E-Portfolio will be directly applicable to the Summer Scholars’ teaching and for other teachers to adopt and use.


Public Documents

After the Institute, the Summer Scholars’ individual E-Portfolio projects will be posted to UTEP Tales from the Chihuahuan Desert Borderlands: An Archive. Based on permissions, the e-portfolio based projects will be made available to Summer Scholars and interested teachers nationwide beyond the Institute period.

The E-Portfolio to be developed by the Summer Scholars will be managed on a platform (either web-based or Microsoft Sway) in consultation with the UTEP  Creative Studios team. 

Technical Guidance

Steve Varela, the former director the UTEP Creative Studios team, is a national leader in teacher professional learning and education. Steve and Creative Studios will assist Summer Scholars in curating their E-Portfolios. After the lesson plan is complete, instructions for Dropbox use for lesson plan assembly will be provided.

The team members will be present in the assigned laboratory during specific time periods, although it is the individual Summer Scholar’s responsibility to develop the content of the lesson plans and to make sure the content corresponds to state or national standards in your discipline, content area, or subject.


All Summer Scholars will present their E-Portfolio Projects at the close of the Summer Institute.


Additional Resources to Help with Multimodal Projects

Copyright and Royalty-Free Images

Pixabay: https://pixabay.com/

Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/

Creative Commons: https://search.creativecommons.org/

Basic Image Editing

Be Funky: https://www.befunky.com/

Templates and Graphics

Canva: https://www.canva.com/


The 5E Model of Instruction

5E Model

  Please download The 5E Model of Instruction to help with your lesson planning.


Educational Standards


Common Core State Standards

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies: A Framework for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (excerpt)

World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (ACTFL)  


Content Standards, California State Board of Education

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), Texas Education Agency (TEA)