In professional development this summer, one workshop is having teachers focus on primary sources for elementary school classes.
At the Red Rocks Historical Site in Emporia, teachers listened to Darla Mallein, a social sciences professor at Emporia State University, stress the importance of primary sources in any research. She said that there was no better venue locally than the Willima Allen White House.
“Because of all the primary sources that are here,” Mallein said. “If you’re going to teach someone about primary sources, you can’t find a better place.”
What is a primary source? It is any article or document which provides a first hand account about an event or a person. The workshop is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress, and spans several days. Teachers will learn how to use primary sources in the classrooms and create materials for their lesson plans that are based on those primary sources.
“The Library of Congress funds these grants,” said Vicki Schweinler, executive director of elementary education for Emporia Public Schools. “They’ll do activities specifically to help incorporate primary sources into their classroom and we’ll do a lot of lesson planning and make sure they know how to conduct a good social studies lesson plan to deliver that in the classroom.”