Attention Preservation Educators - the National Park Service, through the National Register of Historic Places, has a great resource for those seeking to develop training courses and educational programs in the fields of historic preservation, restoration and social studies. According to the TwHP website, "teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) uses properties listed in the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places to enliven history, social studies, geography, civics, and other subjects. TwHP has created a variety of products and activities that help teachers bring historic places into the classroom."
Below are highlights from the "Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP)" website (http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/twhp/):
Who We Are and What We Do
Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP) is a program of the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places. Over the years TwHP has developed a variety of products and services. These include a series of lesson plans; guidance on using places to teach; information encouraging educators, historians, preservationists, site interpreters, and others to work together effectively; and professional development publications and training courses. Initially created in collaboration with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, TwHP grew out of a desire by both organizations to expand educational outreach. Coinciding with a widespread review of American education in the late 1980s, this interest led to consultation with a wide range of educators, resulting in the launch of the Teaching with Historic Places program in 1991.
Why We Do It
Real historic places generate excitement and curiosity about the people who lived there and the events that occurred there. From ancient ruins, homes of presidents and poets, and battlefields that comprise national parks, to the main streets, factories, and farms listed in the National Register of Historic Places because they make a state or community special, places grab our attention. They offer experiences and information that help make the past real for anyone who visits or studies them. Rooted in this certainty, Teaching with Historic Places promotes places as effective tools for enlivening traditional classroom instruction.
Students As Historians
Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans turn students into historians as they study primary sources, historical and contemporary photographs and maps, and other documents, and then search for the history around them in their own communities. They enjoy a historian's sense of discovery as they learn about the past by actively examining places to gather information, form and test hypotheses, piece together "the big picture," and bridge the past to the present. By seeking out nearby historic places, students explore the relationship of their own community's history to the broader themes that have shaped this country.
For more information about this educational resource, go to http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/twhp/