Example Abstracts – Education

Back to the Past:  A Look at Primary Sources in the Classroom


Zack Morrissey, Department of Teacher Education (minor), Chase Brinkley, Departments of History (major) and

Teacher Education (minor), and Brian B. Kahn (Mentor), Department of Teacher Education  


Last semester, students of TEP 438 Secondary Social Studies Methods were tasked with using primary sources from the Library of Congress website and completing different tasks concerning the interdisciplinary nature of social sciences. These modules focused on this interdisciplinary nature as well as how teacher candidates could gain a better understanding of the past and assist students develop critical thinking skills. How did the learning modules that we completed tie into our preclinical observation time in a classroom? The students of TEP 438 took their knowledge of primary sources and brought that into middle and high school classrooms.  Our project looks at two different lesson plans and activities that were implemented in two classroom settings during the fall of 2013.  One lesson took place in a local high school in 11th grade U.S. History, which used a diary from a women living on a plantation in Georgia who experienced the horrors of total war through General Sherman’s march to the sea during the Civil War. The other lesson took place in a local middle school. The primary sources used were photographs where students were tasked with making observations and conclusions through the sources that addressed the reforms established throughout the U.S. during the Progressive Era. The results of these teaching experiences will be shared.