Documents using local American History sources.
Essex LINCs (Local History In a National Context)
is a three year project designed to connect Essex County elementary teachers with local primary source material to make their social studies lessons more relevant and exciting.
Find out more about teaching American History in Essex County.
Created by Essex County teachers using local resources.
Documents using local American History sources.
in Waltham, MA,
is one of three partners for this grant
The last workshop for this grant has taken place.
If you have any questions about the materials on this website, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information about the academic content of this grant program, please contact our academic directors, Brad Austin, Bethany Jay, or Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello from Salem State University
Educators from across Essex County participate in hands on lessons designed to help teach American History topics
This site is a result of a federally funded four-year Teaching American History grant. While no longer active, this grant served over one hundred forty elementary school teachers throughout Essex County, Massachusetts. Lessons found on this site use primary sources from over nineteen communitities. A sampling of activities produced to supplement these lessons by participating teachers can be found on this website as well.
Workshops highlighted three main themes; Governing, Working and Peopling New England and the Nation. They use local history and primary sources to promote the greater story of national U. S. history. Essex County possesses a rich heritage which puts it in a unique position to tell these stories and the sites to which these teachers were introduced gave them a new understanding they can bring back to the clasroom.
The typical workshop schedule included detailed lectures and discussion by Salem State University professors, Brad Austin, Elizabeth Duclos-Orsello and Bethany Jay. Workshops were held at various historic sites across Essex County (see Field and Web Resources above for a listing). Tours of local sites were a highpoint of the day, as was a chance to look closely at primary documents and to "try out" each main lesson.
"The presentations helped me realize how important it is to explain what primary sources are. The wealth of lessons created and the shared with other educators made the task less daunting. I want to bring more primary sources into my classroom!"
In addition to the twenty eight workshops, five summer institutes took place over the period of the grant from 2008 to 2011. These institutes took an intensive look at one of the main topics as part of a graduate course offered by Salem State University. Guest professors examined various subtopics in depth. Special site visits such as the Royall House and slave quarters in Medford and the Schooner Thomas Lannon in Gloucester gave teachers fresh insight into the offerings of Essex County.
" This has been such an energizing experience! It has made me rethink how to present the history of my town. I have thoroughly enjoyed these workshops! "
Teachers created multi-day interdisciplianry lessons for the summer institutes. A sampling of those lessons, along with the main lessons created by our museum educator, Rebecca Zimmerman, can be accessed here. Thirty detailed lessons which are aligned to the MA frameworks and include both modifications and extensions can be accessed via the lesson plans page above. Primary resources used in those lessons have been digitized and transcribed as well. Photos of artifacts and buildings are also available here.
"I feel more comfortable teaching social studies because of the knowledge and resources I have gained."
“I loved being treated as a professional - LINCs has a higher level of professional development than that usually offered in my district.”
“The primary resources are terrific & I didn't even have to find them -- you've made my life easier!”
“When implementing lessons, gathering primary sources from local sites will really engage students and keep their interest!”
Connecting ESSEX LINCs: Connecting Elementary Teachers, Sources, and Scholarship to Explore Local History in a National Context.
Beverly Public Schools (BPS) in partnership with Salem State University (SSU), the Essex National Heritage Commission (ENHC) and the National Archives and Records Administration—Northeast Region (NARA) presents Connecting ESSEX LINCs: Connecting Elementary Teachers, Sources, and Scholarship to Explore Local History in a National Context. This project increases elementary school teachers’ knowledge, understanding and appreciation of events and topics in American history through an intensive professional development program.