Speak Up: Using Primary Sources to Engage Students is a professional development workshop for teachers that is created and led by the South Carolina Historical Society. The goals of this workshop are to 1) increase educators' access to and use of primary sources available to them and 2) establish best practices and effective ways for teaching with primary sources. Developed for 8th grade social studies teachers, the workshop focuses on South Carolina's pivotal role during the American Revolution and the creation of the United States Constitution. Primary sources from this time period, gathered from local sources, the SCHS, and the Library of Congress, will be presented, analyzed, and discussed during the workshop. Participants will create their own lesson plans using the tools, techniques, and sources shared with them. Workshops are held in several places across the state.
Below-average student achievement put these western Piedmont districts on the South Carolina improvement list. Teaching American History in the Lakelands is designed to address teacher practice in these districts. To work toward stronger practice, project teachers participate in a speaker series, where presentations by historians are accompanied by training in methods and curriculum development, book clubs are focused on assigned readings, weekend study tours explore cities of historic significance, and summer institutes provide immersive experiences of content and methods sessions, field studies, primary source research, and hands-on learning. TPS Eastern Region provided online coursework for program teacher-leaders and focused on the Library of Congress' website and online resources. Participating teachers share their knowledge with colleagues through local workshops and at state and national conferences, and create lesson plans, videotaped lessons, annotated bibliographies, and other materials.
Who is to blame for the Boston Massacre? What really caused the collapse of the Jamestown colony? Get a Clue!: Using Primary Sources to Uncover History's Mysteries is a professional development project designed to support teachers in implementing fun, interactive learning activities with their fourth and fifth grade students. Using the website, "Historical Scene Investigation," teachers choose from thirteen "historical mysteries," ranging from Bacon's Rebellion to When Elvis Met Nixon. Each HSI file is filled with primary sources students analyze and interpret to solve one of history's greatest mysteries. In addition to the HSI site, two Get a Clue! district-level workshops utilize online professional development modules accessed through the Library of Congress web site and offer CDs of additional digitized primary sources from the Library of Congress' collections that are related to each HSI historical mystery. Participants are encouraged to schedule follow-up school-based workshops for their colleagues and/or students. Twenty such workshops are planned.
Linking Literature and Primary Sources to K-12 Learning, a project developed by Winthrop University, engages pre-service candidates and teachers in our region with literature and primary sources for integrated social studies teaching and learning. Primary sources make history real to students. Project initiatives focus on infusing literacy and technology strategies across the curriculum. Online and classroom-based professional development programs are utilized to connect pre-service teachers with K-12 teachers in South Carolina. Project components include demonstration of how to use Library of Congress digital primary sources in pre-service classes, professional development workshops, and an online database of materials to showcase best practices for using literature with primary source documents. South Carolina pre-service and in-service teachers learn to use primary sources and literature to enrich the social studies textbook, to encourage historical thinking, and to provide context for time periods being studied.