J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Teachers’ Workshop on the Siege of Boston

This week I’m working with the Massachusetts Historical Society and Longfellow House–Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site on a workshop for history teachers. (The workshop is funded in large part by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati.)

Our topic is the siege of Boston, but the participants’ real task is developing ways to use primary-source documents in classroom lessons. I’m just there to distract them with facts and complications. There will be twelve teachers, divided into three teams. One of my early tasks was to choose documents from the many that the M.H.S. has preserved and digitized for the teams to study.

To start with, we’ll all use Henry Pelham’s map of Boston during the siege. It’s also available through the Boston Public Library and the Library of Congress.

For the team looking at military strategy and confrontations:

For the team looking at life in besieged Boston:

For the team studying life in the American camps:

Follow along at home!

TOMORROW: What’s missing?

1 comment:

Waldo4me said...

What a great idea. Thanks for taking the time to help with an important project like this. I'm sure you'll enjoy the process and, certainly, the teachers will benefit from your knowledge. Of course, the real payoff will be increased student learning.

This sounds like a good model that cold be used in many other localities.