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"Primarily Virginia" Online Teachers’ Institute

Tuesday, September 2, 9:00amWednesday, September 24, 5:00pm
Part of the Teachers Institute category.
Part of the program.

Map of VirginiaThe Virginia Historical Society enthusiastically announces its fall session of “Primarily Virginia”, an online teachers’ institute that highlights the collections of the VHS and the Library of Congress while emphasizing both primary source learning and historical inquiry. The institute consists of an introduction and six modules, each of which is centered on specific objects from the VHS collections while focusing on a particular historical era. These objects will be used as a lens to examine the historical era, revealing new information while looking at Virginia’s history in a different manner. Registration for the fall session will begin on September 2, 2014, and the first day of the class is September 24, 2014.

Each module will consist of the following (approximately 6 to 7 hours per module):

  • Predict: Each module begins with high-resolution pictures of three objects. Choose one or more of the objects and hypothesize what the object is and what role the object may have played in Virginia’s history.
  • Additional Resources: Once you have made your prediction, check out the additional resources to reveal more about the objects and the historical time period.
  • Build Background Knowledge and Content: Read the chosen piece to establish a basic knowledge before moving on to the individual choice of article or lecture and reflection piece.
  • A Word from the Experts: Choose one of the scholarly articles or lectures provided under Course Documents to build a deeper understanding of the historical context.
  • Reflect: After taking a closer look and hearing from content experts, reflect on what you have learned with a 1 to 2 page response paper.
  • Primary Source Analysis: Use the Primary Source Analysis tool to examine the provided source. Share your analysis with your colleagues on the discussion board.
  • Connect: Find an additional source from the Virginia Historical Society or the Library of Congress that you can link to what has been discussed in the module. Share how the content you have selected and what you have learned in this module is applicable to your classroom, either to add to or to enhance existing curriculum.
  • Respond: After reading what your colleagues have posted, respond to at least three other posts.

The online format has been designed for asynchronous work, allowing K-12 teachers from around Virginia to access the resources of the VHS and the Library from their homes or schools. Completion of the course results in 45 recertification points, and the course is offered free of charge thanks to a generous grant from Teaching with Primary Sources and the Library of Congress.

To receive the scholarship, students must complete the required materials below. Qualified students will be accepted on a “first come, first served” basis.

Complete the following required materials:

  • The Application/Registration Form
  • A personal statement of interest (500 words or less) explaining your reason for selecting this course and the way you hope to use it in your teaching.
  • A letter of recommendation from your principal, history/social studies department chair, social studies specialist, or community civic leader

Submit these additional application materials as soon as possible. Your application is not complete without submitting all required materials.

Materials may be submitted electronically to:


Materials may be mailed to:

Evan Liddiard, Sr. Education Specialist

Virginia Historical Society

P.O. Box 7311

Richmond, VA  23221-0311

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