One of my passions as a teacher and an historian is to introduce my students to the profession of archivists. Because we are a textbook free classroom, a large amount of primary sources are used. In addition, my students have been dappling in the concepts of museum studies and artifact preservation throughout the semester. This year, I was given the opportunity to take my United States Honors students to a local college (Wilson College) with a large collection of World War II related materials. Field trips are a rarity with budget cuts and we were only able to go after I was awarded a large grant through the Greater Chambersburg Chamber for an innovative technology project. Our class project focuses on a book by Ruta Sepetys called “Salt to the Sea” and we have been crafting an online resource for history teachers, students, and enthusiasts around the globe. Our main theme is “hidden history” or why certain historical elements are not given the recognition that they deserve or need.
While on our trip, the students viewed the latest Wilson College exhibit on the women of Wilson,
engaged with primary sources that connected WWII and our local area,
and studied a local WASP pilot named Elizabeth McGeorge Sullivan.
The last part of our visit included a transcription activity. Little did I know that this would be a deciding factor in my class – the kids came back begging to have more transcriptions! I’ve obliged and will be explaining more about the pros, cons, and potential of using transcription as an engaging historical activity.
I was joined on my journey by two of my favorite colleagues, Crystal and Glory.
We managed to survive and no kids were lost in the process. If you were to ask the students about their favorite part of the field trip, you would get an earful (a good earful) about the food. Success all around!