The NYS Archives Partnership Trust and the New York Council for History Education are here to support public historians, librarians, and archivists as they collaborate with classroom teachers to meet the NYS Learning Standards and bring authentic learning experiences to their students.
The NYS Archives Partnership Trust is proud to host the New York Council for History Education, a state council of the National Council for History Education, for the purpose of building a statewide network of educators, historians, librarians, and archivists. The main goal of this network is to bring together all stakeholders in promoting the use of historical records in the classroom. Together, we can help develop an informed citizenry who can think critically and take action.
The New York State Social Studies Framework provides educators with guidance on how and what to teach in the Social Studies classroom. Click here to learn more.
Many repositories in New York State, both public and private, hold historical records related to the key ideas found within the social studies framework. Here are a few examples.
The Blizzard of 1888 was a weather event of historic significance. Many local repositories have photographs and other related primary sources documenting the impact of the blizzard on individuals and communities. The Lansingburgh Historical Society holds a school journal written by a 12 year old girl in which she describes the storm and her experience.
School records often provide a snapshot of life at a particular place and time. School menus, rules for teachers, and detailed descriptions of a school's participation on the homefront during Word War I all give students relatable information while also delivering important evidence about the past. These types of documents can be found in local repositories as well as in a school district's stored records.
Historical records showing citizens taking action on a specific issue are a valuable way to teach students the importance of civic participation. Local, state and national archives all hold primary sources that show citizens in action, and this topic can be found out every level in the NYS Social Studies Framework.
The New York State Archives Student Research Awards offer an excellent opportunity for public historians, librarians, and archivists to work with teachers. Successful participants use local historical records to create a research project. Teachers and students are always looking for rich local collections to drive their research. Click here to learn more about this program and continue reading on this page to see the amazing results of a teacher/historian collaboration.
Toni Stevens-Oliver, a fourth grade teacher at Thornell Road Elementary School in the Pittsford Central School District worked with local historian, Vicki Masters Profitt to guide her students through a Student Research Awards project. The students chose a Civil War veteran buried in their local cemetery and used historical records to create a picture book documenting their service. They won the 2018 Grades 4-5 division.
Students who use historical records in their social studies classroom are more engaged and develop a greater appreciation for their local history and the skills involved in historical research. With the proper resources and guidance, students can learn to analyze, iinterpret and evaluate primary sources which leads to a more informed citizen capable of critical thinking.