VTDNP @ the 2014 Vermont Alliance for the Social Studies Conference

The Equinox Resort & Spa, home to the conference this year, boosts a 200 year history, 6 different architectural styles, and 17 structures–it’s quite the complex!

The Vermont Digital Newspaper Project (VTDNP) was invited to give a workshop to teachers at this year’s Vermont Alliance for the Social Studies Conference in Manchester, Vermont, at the Equinox Resort & Spa, on  Friday, December 5, 2014.

The presentation, all set to go, in conference room “C”!

The Vermont Alliance for the Social Studies gives an annual conference for teachers of all ages (K-12 to college) in December.  At the conference, teachers have the opportunity to converse with colleagues, attend workshops, and visit exhibits pertaining to social studies and history education.

Project Librarian, Erenst Anip, introduces the project to teachers.

VTDNP’s Erenst Anip and Karyn Norwood led an interactive workshop on how to use  Chronicling America’s historic newspapers in the classroom to a full room of 23 teachers. The workshop covered a range of topics including: the Vermont Digital Newspaper Project’s online resources, a basic tutorial on how to use Chronicling America, and ideas on lessons and activities for teachers to use with students.

At each teacher’s place, there were bookmarks, lesson plans, and handouts, as well as a warm-up “guessing game” activity using historic toy advertisements.

Teachers seemed particularly enthused about the content-specific vocabulary ideas. We had a good deal of fun trying to figure out what the word “velocipede” was from the word’s context in newspapers.  We also looked at how to study different perspectives on historical events (or people) using the newspapers. One workshop participant found  a detailed article in a Vermont newspaper on John Brown’s execution in December of 1859 and read it out loud–it  evidenced clearly just how divided the country was over his raid on Harper’s Ferry. The Recommended Topics page on Chronicling America also garnered enthusiasm–as one teacher said, it made for a great place for students to start thinking about a research topic (we think so too!). Stay tuned for a Vermont Topics page, everyone!

Overall, we had a great hour exploring Chronicling America with Vermont teachers! Looking forward to next year’s conference.

The courtyard of the Equinox with a lovely sculpture.


Click through the workshop’s accompanying PowerPoint below:

Additional Links:

Stay warm! -K. Norwood