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Each unit on the Communities web site pages can be thought of as a lesson. A unit is a collection of five or six primary sources that fit together to give insight into a topic. "John Pillsbury" is an example of a unit. The Pillsbury unit contains a portrait, two official documents, a personal letter, and two newspaper articles.

These sources act as "puzzle pieces" that, when fitted together, shed some light on the kind of person Mr. Pillsbury was. Through working with the sources in a unit your students will not only learn more about the unit's content but also will build skills in doing historical research using primary sources.

Each unit can be found on either of two menus: the Communities menu or the Themes menu. The Pillsbury unit, for example, is categorized under the community of St. Anthony and under the theme of People.

These two methods are offered to give you flexibility. If your students are primarily interested in studying a given community, such as St. Anthony, then all of the units related to that community can be found on the same menu under Communities. If, however, your students are instead interested in studying a particular theme, such as People, then all the units that have a given person as their topic can be found on one menu under Themes.

At the top of each unit page is a link back to the menu where they found the unit. Using this link, your students can easily back up and choose another topic that will be related either by theme or by community.