The Program: Featured Cases
(Note: The following links to videos require
Quicktime 7 )
We are excited to present to you some of the products of Project LOCAL. These cases were compiled from up to three days of filming in each classroom. What you will see and hear are images and sounds of their students working on their projects, accompanied, where available, by interviews with the teacher(s) and students. These cases are intended as examples of what it looked and sounded like when students from these five districts practiced the methodology of "doing history" as their teachers had learned it through the six Project LOCAL grant workshops. In preparing to teach these particular projects, teachers chose single or multiple methods from the "doing history" methodology as the procedural focus of their students' work. Thus, what you will see in some cases is a composite of methods such as
interpreting from different perspectives (method 4) and
drawing conclusions (method 6), while in others an entire case may be centered on students
examining a primary source (method 3).
The primary audience for these cases is local, as the project's name implies. The cases are intended to demonstrate to other teachers from these districts how the participants' students used these methods in their learning of Massachusetts history; teachers from outside Massachusetts will want to adapt the approach to suit their own needs. Visitors are invited to correspond with us to offer their feedback and to ask questions. We hope that this growing collection will inspire other teachers – within and beyond these communities – to adopt the methodology of "doing history" to inform how their students study American history. Please
contact us with your thoughts on the work of Project LOCAL.
Teachers were given the freedom to choose the scope of their "doing history" project: some planned a unit on the history of turn-of-the-century Winthrop as a resort destination for residents of Boston; another facilitated students making a movie of Revere's experience during the blizzard of 1978; a third offered students the opportunity to conduct oral histories of Somerville's experience during the Vietnam War and discovered that, as was typical in many working-class communities, protests against the War began later than in other areas of Massachusetts. In every case, teachers were attempting something that they had not done previously; the interviews with enthusiastic students are testimony to the success of these innovative approaches.
Click on the images below to visit these featured cases from each grade level: