Everett     Medford     Revere     Somerville     Winthrop    

 Learning Our Community's American Lore

Doing History: Primary Sources

"Giving my students time to work with primary sources and make their own observations served to engage them in studying history. Students who were not normally engaged by textbook learning were engaged by this lesson. Also, it focused on their own town's history, allowing for the kind of personal connection that is critical to generating student interest." Trish Harrison, 5th grade teacher, Winthrop
5th graders examine early 
town maps

Primary Sources are the building blocks of history. While history textbooks outline broad trends, primary sources offer the chance to drill deep into the details of a particular case. As part of their work with Project LOCAL, participating teachers have used a wide variety of primary sources in their classrooms. 

Here we highlight seven types of primary sources:

Maps (Sanborn & GIS)  

Oral Histories






Doing Fieldwork

Shore Collaborative  •   Department of Education at Tufts  •   TAH Grant Program
2019 TUFTS UNIVERSITY, Department of Education and The Shore Collaborative. All rights reserved.