The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Exploring with a Lens on Local History: Historical Artifacts and Innovative Practice

Thursday, November 29, 2018 - 4:00pm

In Exploring with a Lens on Local History, a workshop series for teachers of all content areas, participants will explore the extensive historical archives and resources of the Springfield Armory National Historic Site. This 15-hour professional development is designed to provide K-12 educators an opportunity to immerse themselves in the extensive primary source materials at the Springfield Armory with the goal of designing lessons that engage students in multiple disciplines including the STEAM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math along with Social Studies and English Language Arts. Lesson-design projects will integrate standards from the new Massachusetts History and Social Science Framework.

Themes of the professional development will include writing in the content areas, understanding the role of engineering design and innovative practice, using primary sources for research, interpreting artwork to explore political and cultural messages and themes, and more. All sessions will take place at the Springfield Armory, a National Park Service historical site in Western Massachusetts. A larger goal for the end of the professional development is the creating and sharing of a web-based resource to help other educators to use local historical resources and collections in their own classrooms.

Participants will earn 22.5 PDPs and have the opportunity to earn one low-cost ($147) graduate credit through the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This project will be of particular interest to teachers in the fields of social studies/history, science/technology/engineering, English language arts, art, and special education. Your classroom focus will guide your inquiry project.

Facilitators: Kevin Hodgson, Western Massachusetts Writing Project; Ranger Scott Gausen and Harriet Kulig, Springfield Armory Educational Liaisons; and Rob Wilson, Veterans Education Project
Dates/Times: Thursdays, November 29; December 13; January 17 and 31; 4-7 p.m.
Time Commitment: 15 total hours (12 hours face-to-face and 3 hours online)
Location: Springfield Armory National Historic Site, off Federal Street, Springfield, MA
Cost: $25, payable to Western Massachusetts Writing Project
Registration Link:

This professional development series is presented in partnership with the National Park Service and supported by a grant from the National Writing Project.

Download the program flyer and syllabus: