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Pennsylvania

Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU)
ER #157 Contact: Thomas Robel

TPS Power of Perspectives: Using Primary Sources to Design Dynamic Substantive Democratic Discussions to Facilitate English Learner’s Academic Language Development in Social Studies is an 18-month statewide professional development initiative to develop capacity among teams of Pennsylvania middle school teachers to design and deliver rigorous grade-level content instruction and assessment that is accessible to English Learners (ELs) at all proficiency levels.

Partnering with experts from the Library of Congress (Emerging America Program), Maryland Humanities Council, PA Department of Education and a National Writing Project consultant, participating teachers will engage in a series of workshops that connect academic content with English language development through inquiry-based instructional designs. With support from instructional coaches, teachers will design differentiated instruction using primary sources and Teaching Tolerance’s Social Justice Standards to write essential questions that engage ELs in perspective-taking and democratic discussions, and support ELs in writing evidence-based arguments.

Project Website


University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (PennGSE)
ER #153 Contact: Abby Reisman

“The Life of Free African Americans in 19th Century Philadelphia: Using Library of Congress Resources to Uncover Hidden History” is a project of The Collaboratory for Teacher Education at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education (PennGSE). The goal is to create a professional development series during which Philadelphia history teachers use the digital collections of the Library of Congress to design and implement document-based lessons that unpack the complex lived-experiences of free African Americans in the 19th century.


Philadelphia Writing Project
ER # 151 Contact: Diane Waff

Teacher Inquiry: Exploring Primary Sources Through the Lenses of Civics, Science, and Community
The Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP), a site of the National Writing Project (NWP) located at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School Of Education (PennGSE), has developed teacher leadership for 32 years. Each summer, PhilWP hosts an Invitational Summer Institute on Writing and Literacy (ISI) for teachers of all grades and content areas. Teachers explore writing and literacy learning with an emphasis on both student and teacher inquiry. For this project, PhilWP integrated primary sources into the ISI by expanding the texts teacher engage with to include primary sources and empasizing associated strategies for analyzing primary sources, particularly by considering multiple perspectives. Teachers explore primary sources through the lenses of history, civics, science, and community. Teachers then develop lessons that engage students in the analysis of primary sources and in using these analyses as launch pads for creating critical essays, newspaper articles, blog posts, and varied forms of digital writing. Teachers reflect on their experiences in follow-up sessions during the school year and construct portfolios in which they reflect on changes to practice. Futher, PhilWP supports teachers in sharing their lessons with local educators, which includes presenting at educator conferences.

PhilWP is partnering with interpretive specialist at the Independence National Historical Park, educators from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, and the West Philadelphia Collaborative History Center to provide additional resources for teachers during the ISI that address history, civics, science, and community. Ultimately, PhilWP will curate exemplars of teaching practice that combine students' questions with teaching resources in a way that honors the kinds of knowledge students have and can generate.

Featured NWP Broadcast: Teachers’ Inquiries into Integrating Historical Primary Sources with Traditional Fictional Texts
2018 Invitational Summer Institute Website
2018 Invitational Summer Institute Video
Using Portraiture as a Primary Source Blog


Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13
ER #139 Contact: Toni Martindell

Developing Historians: Using Primary Sources to Create Inquiry-Based Lessons supports social studies teachers, library media specialists, and technology integrators as they design and implement inquiry-based lessons using primary sources from The Library of Congress. Primary sources are vital for inquiry because they allow students to create new understandings, draw conclusions, connect history to the present, and engage in historical thinking. Educators participate in face-to-face professional development, as well as receive onsite and virtual coaching to learn more about the inquiry process and how they can use it to help students develop the skills they need to be college and career ready.


Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV
ER # 119 Contact: Amy Walker

Staff from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program at Waynesburg University, introduced educators to the resources available through the Library of Congress website and supported participants in developing instructional skills and strategies specifically useful for leading students through the inquiry process to support historical thinking and writing skills. Participants become familiar with the breadth and organization of the Library's digitized collections of primary sources, understand their value in instruction, and discover strategies for applying inquiry-based learning experiences in their own classrooms. Teachers engage in model learning activities and collaborate with colleagues in pairs and small groups.


Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU)
ER #117 Contact: Susan Blyth

Keystones of the Federal Union is designed to increase student achievement in American history. Cohorts of 25 to 30 elementary teachers, librarians, and special education teachers participate in professional development workshops which focus on using primary sources to implement robust classroom learning activities. This collaboration between Pennsylvania IU 16 and the TPS Eastern Region Program focuses on the Library of Congress digitized primary source collections and TPS methodology as part of a Teaching American History project.


Independence Park Institute
ER #83 Contact: Jeffrey Collins

Washington's Philadelphia Campaign: Bring history to your students and your students to history! is a program where the Independence Park Institute provides a professional development workshop for approximately thirty teachers. The 2013 Summer Teachers Institute is called, "Washington's Philadelphia Campaign: Bring history to your students and your students to history!" This Summer Teachers Institute provides educators with primary source materials and the opportunity to participate in place-based learning as they tour historic sites of Washington's Philadelphia Campaign of 1777-1778.


Edinboro University
ER #81 Contact: Jo Ann Holtz

Bringing Primary Source Material to K-12 Classrooms is a TPS Project which aims to involve teacher candidates and their cooperating teachers in selecting and integrating Library of Congress online primary resources into lesson plans aligned to Pennsylvania and Common Core Standards. Pre-service teachers engaged in student teaching through Edinboro University (EU) are required to work with Dr. Jo Holtz, EU professor, to produce developmentally appropriate lesson plans around primary sources selected from the collections of the Library of Congress. The lesson plans are part of the teacher candidates' practice lessons and implemented in their cooperating classrooms, extending their learning in primary source use and acquisition to students in their assigned K-12 classrooms. A reference resource pamphlet describing the process of selecting and using Library of Congress online primary resources is provided to both teacher candidates and their cooperating teachers. Cooperating teachers may use this resource to continue to use Library of Congress online primary resources in their own future lessons.


Global Education Motivators
ER #75 Contact: Wayne Jacoby

Teaching About the Effect of Armed Conflict on Children: Perspectives from Sub Saharan Africa explores the multiple devastating effects of armed conflict on children in the region. Using primary sources from the Library of Congress and first-hand accounts from African Nationals and UN personnel, teachers broaden their perspectives on this real world problem and learn how to use first hand experiential learning and primary sources to teach about global problems. These workshops target teachers in Southern New Jersey with staff development programs being offered at Richard Stockton College as well as at the African Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Southeastern Pennsylvania. These workshops produce teacher developed cross-curricular lesson plans, and also use interactive videoconferencing technology to connect with the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, UNICEF, and the Department of Public Information.

Session II
Session III


Central York School District
ER #72 Contact: Sue Sheffer

Using Primary Sources with Non-Fiction Literature builds on quality non-fiction literature where a team of teacher-leaders develop lesson plans that build contextual understandings of historical periods and/or events depicted in the literature by providing background information for teachers and a selection of primary sources from the Library of Congress. These cross-curricular lessons are designed to be implemented by elementary teachers across the district in grades three through six. Lessons developed through this project emphasize the development of critical thinking skills through inquiry learning as students dig deeper into historical events. Specific reading strategies, classroom and individual activities, and other supportive resources and materials are included.

Interesting Nonfiction for Kids (I.N.K.) Blog
Gregory Wimmer Thinking History Website


Lehigh County Historical Society
ER #71 Contact: Joseph Garrera

Primary Sources: Gateway to the Past involves a series of face-to-face workshops to convene at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania, targeting K-12 teachers from the Lehigh Valley. In an introductory session, educators learn about primary sources and their importance in teaching. They are introduced to primary sources available through the Heritage Museum's collection of three million documents and the Library of Congress collections at www.loc.gov. Teachers then participate in one or both of the following subject area workshop tracks. The science/math track uses primary sources from www.loc.gov, along with hands-on experiments, to provide teachers with experiential resources for teaching energy and its conservation as well as real-world applications of math. In the language arts/social studies track, teachers learn to use primary sources such as photographs, maps, oral histories, and manuscripts to teach literacy concepts and social studies subject matter related to "America at War." They explore ways to augment assigned literature with relevant primary sources. At the conclusion of each workshop track, teachers draft and share lesson plans using primary sources relevant to their subject matter.

Project Website
Political Cartoons & the American Revolution created by Sarah Thayer


Intermediate Unit 1
ER #57 Contact: Stevie Kline

The Teaching with Primary Sources and Common Core Standards for Every Educator online project utilizes and blends education and communications technologies to train educators to integrate Library of Congress online primary sources. Participating educators design inquiry-based, classroom-friendly strategies, aligned to Pennsylvania and Common Core Standards, which enables their students to analyze and evaluate a variety of primary sources helping them develop critical thinking skills and preparing them to be thoughtful lifelong learners capable of competing and thriving in the 21st Century. Due to the current fiscal restraints, educators may no longer have the ability to attend professional development during the school day. This project is delivered via the open source, online, Moodle Learning Management System, and disseminated over the PAIUnet (a high-speed educational network that connects all 29 Intermediate Units and their member school districts throughout Pennsylvania), making the training available statewide.

The Long Civil Rights movement: Music Inquiry Design Model (IDM) Blueprint created by Stevie Kline & Joyce Mason


Temple University
ER #54 Contact: Christine Woyshner

Documenting Race: Teaching African American History with Primary Sources seeks to enrich the history curriculum by integrating the history of black Americans. The School District of Philadelphia (SDP) has mandated that all students in the 154,000-student district take an African American History course at the high school level. Teachers have access to a textbook that the SDP adopted for the course, but they also have much freedom in supplementing the text with primary and secondary sources and other instructional materials. This project seeks to provide SDP teachers and teachers in other school districts with resources to teach the history of race and African Americans in engaging, meaningful ways that draw on best practices and the rich holdings of the Library of Congress' online collections. The participants in this project focus on civil rights, civics, and gender in developing their curricula.

Representing African American Women in U.S. History Textbooks by Jessica B. Schocker and Christine Woyshner presented at PCSS and NCSS 2012

Picturing Women: Gender, Images, and Representation in Teaching History with Primary Sources is a project which seeks to develop teaching approaches using primary source materials on the Library of Congress Website. The approaches draw on ideas from the fields of museum education, art history, and media studies. They include looking closely at images, switching the gender of those pictured, and juxtapositions of different images together to tell a story or raise questions. Overall, the goals are to help classroom teachers guide students' questioning of social constructions of gender while developing and supporting their conceptual understanding in history.

During the summer of 2008, the Picturing Women Project invited classroom teachers to adapt the above three approaches to their own teaching and curricula. The resulting project, found on the TPS website, addresses four topics or time periods in history: middle-class African Americans in mid-nineteenth century Philadelphia, women's suffrage, women and transportation, and women during World War II. The teachers brought looking closely, switching places, and juxtapositions to bear on Library of Congress primary sources such as propaganda posters, photographs, and comic books.

Dr. Woyshner continues to work with teachers in disseminating the three approaches, helping them adapt them to various topics and subjects in the K-12 history and social studies curriculum. Picturing Women: Gender, Images, and Representation in Teaching History with Primary Sources completed project


Army Heritage Center Foundation
ER #39 Contact: Jeffrey Hawks

Teaching with Primary Sources through National History Day in Pennsylvania is a program providing teachers with the tools and knowledge to integrate primary sources from the Library of Congress and the US Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) into their classrooms to support learning through the National History Day in Pennsylvania program. A series of day-long professional development workshops provides an orientation to Library of Congress digitized primary sources available at www.loc.gov, as well as the web-based and archival collection at the USAHEC. Additional sessions focus on engaging students with primary sources, the use of specific primary sources in the classroom, and how to use the National History Day in Pennsylvania program to support students in making the best use of primary sources in the classroom.

The program provides scholarships and travel stipends for teachers to attend the workshops. Pennsylvania teachers who complete one of the workshops receive Act 48 continuing education credit for participating; teachers from other states receive a certificate of completion indicating subject matter presented and classroom hours.


Mongomery County Community College
ER #35 Contact: Jill Beccaris-Pescatore

Teaching Environmental Economic Thinking with Primary Sources developed a course entitled, "Introduction to Environmental Economics." The course exposes students to the numerous on-line resources housed at the Library of Congress in the areas of conservation and natural resources. Students use inquiry-based learning activities to connect primary sources to the issues of scarcity and choice within environmental and natural resource economics. Topics of study include public versus private forestlands, natural resource economics, climate change, and sustainable development. The course includes a student-selected service project during which they connect the careful analysis of primary sources that represent the landscape of the past to the present and to their ability to impact the future landscape. This unique project promotes the application of economic thinking to primary sources in the area of environment. The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920; American Environmental Photographs, 1891-1936; and Mapping the National Parks will be the main Library of Congress online collections used.


East Stroudsburg University
ER #32 Contact: Michael Gray

Developing Case Studies: Bringing Primary Source Material to the Social Studies Classroom - Pre-service teachers who are enrolled in a social studies pedagogy course at East Stroudsburg University students work one-on-one with ESU professors and archivists of the Lehigh Valley Historical Society to develop a case study around primary sources housed in the collections of the Library of Congress and the Heritage Museum. The pedagogy course focuses on developing lesson-planning skills and one lesson revolves around a case relevant to the student's unit plan. The pre-service teacher poses a question, such as, "How were soldiers recruited during the Civil War?" and then uses resources provided by the Library of Congress and the Heritage Museum to answer the inquiry. The pre-service teacher, working with archivists, selects relevant primary documents that help students answer the questions and integrate the primary source materials into the lesson. The case studies developed are part of the pre-service teacher's practice lessons, extending their learning in primary source use and acquisition to middle and high school students and their host teachers.


Shippensburg Area School District
ER #29 Contact: Rick Bradford

Teaching the Compromise of 1850 via Primary Sources develops skills necessary to effectively use the Library of Congress primary sources, create effective curriculum incorporating those resources into our instruction, and supports the sharing of skills learned with students, colleagues, and student teachers we supervise. Sharing, mentoring, and curriculum writing opportunities with colleagues allow primary sources to be integrated at all grade levels within the district.


Lincoln Intermediate Unit 12
ER #24 Contact: Ann Johnston

Creating Inquiry Activities with Primary Sources is a project involving a train-the-trainer model for professional development of K-12 Social Studies and English/Language Arts teachers in the Lincoln Intermediate Unit (LIU) #12 region (Adams, Franklin, and York Counties). Two IU-based trainers participated in TPS:BASICS and were prepared to provide professional development for lead teachers from districts within the LIU region to create inquiry-based activities with Library of Congress primary sources. Teachers participate in face-to-face professional development, as well as collaborate online to continue conversations with each other and share created activities. These created resources are available for all PA educators through the state-wide social networking site, Keystone Commons. Teachers are encouraged, as well, to submit their instructional activities to be incorporated into PA's Standards-Aligned Systems web portal as resources for improving instruction throughout the Commonwealth. Beyond the grant period, LIU uses the capacity built by this grant to continue to offer TPS training to local educators.

Family Artifacts Lesson Plan
The Growing Nation Lesson Plan


Villanova University 
ER #20 Contact: Teresa Wojcik

Digital Windows to the Past: Enhancing the Study of Social Studies and Language Arts through On-Line Primary Sources and WebQuests: With the rapid advancement of technology, primary sources once amassed in distant archival collections are now being made ever more available to teachers. This project seeks to acquaint pre-service and in-service teachers with the vast on-line resources available at the Library of Congress website and provides guidance in how to search the collections, properly document findings, and embed primary sources in lessons. In addition, Digital Windows to the Past seeks to aid teacher education students at both the undergraduate and graduate level in realizing the benefits of WebQuests as a means of integrating primary sources and technology in their teaching.