Educators and Students

Primarily Teaching

A Summer Workshop for Educators on Using Historical Documents in the Classroom

Presented by staff of the National Archives and Records Administration:

  • The National Archives Regional Facility, Fort Worth, TX, June 22-26, 2009
  • The National Archives in Washington, DC, June 23 - July 2, 2009 *
  • The National Archives Regional Facility, Chicago, IL, July 13 - 17, 2009
  • The National Archives Regional Facility, Kansas City, MO, July 13 - 17, 2009
  • The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, KS, July 16 - 24, 2009
  • The National Archives Regional Facility in Denver, CO, July 20-24, 2009
  • The Lyndon B. Johnson Library, Austin, TX, July 27 – July 31, 2009
  • The National Archives Regional Facility, Waltham, MA, July 27 – July 31, 2009
  • The National Archives Regional Facility, Seattle, WA, August 3 - 7, 2009

What is the National Archives and Records Administration?
The National Archives and Records Administration preserves and makes available to the public the permanently valuable records of the U.S. Government. In addition to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, the National Archives of the United States holds millions of documents, maps, drawings, photographs, films, sound recordings, and computer tapes that document the American experience of government from 1774 to the present. The National Archives comprises the richest record of America's past in the nation. And all of this material is available to teachers.

What will Primarily Teaching offer teachers?
This workshop provides a varied program of lectures, demonstrations, analysis of documents, independent research, and group work that introduces teachers to the holdings and organization of the National Archives. Participants will learn how to do research in historical records, create classroom material from records, and present documents in ways that sharpen students' skills and enthusiasm for history, social studies, and the humanities. Each participant selects and prepares to research a specific topic, searches the topic in the records of the National Archives, and develops a teaching unit that can be presented in his or her own classroom.

Who should attend?
Teachers of history, geography, government, civics, sociology, psychology, economics, American studies, literature, and the humanities from upper elementary through college levels take Primarily Teaching. Librarians, media specialists, archivists, and museum educators also find it useful to their work. Primarily Teaching demonstrates secondary strategies, but educators at all levels can easily adapt them to their particular needs.

What does the workshop cost?

  • The fee for each of the workshops is $100, which includes all materials.
  • Graduate credit from a major university is available for an additional fee.

Some comments from past participants:
"I am a critical audience who is always second-guessing the instructor in courses I take, but if each teacher of social studies took this . . . , the teaching and learning of history in this country would be utterly transformed."

"This is the BEST, most VALUABLE class I have ever taken. My vocabulary is insufficient to describe it properly. Thank you!"

"I would highly recommend this workshop to anyone with an interest in research and/or the social studies. There is no better way to earn 3 graduate hours! I hope to come back and do much more work here."

"I gained the confidence and knowledge and information to do my own research in the future."

"An energizing academic experience."

"I thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of discovery. Many thanks to all those who supported us in many ways."

"A wealth of information and documents that will be incorporated in my teaching units."

"I have a renewed sense of enthusiasm for beginning yet another school year."

How do I apply?
Please see the Workshop Overview for an application and more information.

Participation in the Washington, DC, session is limited to 20 members; participation in the sessions at the Presidential Libraries and regional facilities is limited to 10 members each.

Completed applications are due no later than 6 weeks before the workshop.

* The institute in Washington, DC, is longer than the regional sessions due to the size and variety of the holdings. Participants in the DC program will be oriented to the holdings in cartographic materials, still photographs, and motion picture and sound recordings, in addition to the textual holdings in both the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, DC, and the National Archives at College Park, MD. (Shuttle service between the buildings is available.)


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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001
Telephone: 1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272