Workshop Focuses On Teachers Using Primary Sources In Their Lesson Plans

Aug 27, 2019

Jim Garry, historian and storyteller, speaking with Michelle Pearson, master teacher with the Library of Congress.
Credit Cheryl Hughes

This week, the teachers from around the country are visiting Cody and Emigrant, Montana to learn how to incorporate primary sources into their lesson plans.

The teacher workshop is a collaboration between the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the National History Museum of Forest Service History and the Library of Congress.

All of these institutions value the importance of bringing students to the actual place they are learning about, said Cheryl Hughes, the education director at the National History Museum of Forest Service History. She said it can be a challenge, and primary sources like letters, objects and paintings can evoke the same feeling when students aren't able to go the place they are learning about.

"That's part of what we're doing with our teachers is exciting them about the art and photography of the West by bringing them here," said Hughes.

The workshop focuses on art's contribution on the conservation of the West, so teachers will be learning about artists who preserved the mountains and lands of the West, as well as Buffalo Bill and his connection to Europe.

"What it brings forth is, imagine the possibilities for teachers. What we would like to do is really excite them about turning them on to the possibilities of the things they can do in their classrooms to meet their standards in teaching," she said.

The workshop is part of the Library of Congress' effort to get more teachers using primary sources in their classrooms.