Introducing "Children's Lives at Colonial London Town": New Digital History Resource for Elementary Students, Teachers, and Families
Children's Lives at Colonial London Town: The Stories of Three Families is a digital storybook about real people who resided in London Town, a colonial-era trading port near Annapolis, Maryland. The project is a collaboration between elementary school teachers from Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the Center for History Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and Historic London Town and Gardens. The U.S. Department of Education's Teaching American History Grant Program provided funding.
The teachers realized that focusing on children would generate interest among their 4th and 5th grade students studying the colonial period. The stories were developed through graduate coursework, under the direction of Dr. Marjoleine Kars, chair and associate professor of history at UMBC, and Mary Davis, Anne Arundel County Public Schools resource teacher. The teachers worked at London Town with Lisa Robbins, director of education, to research the children's lives, making use of available primary sources like documents and artifacts, as well as secondary sources on the history of childhood. The resulting narratives span the early 1700s to the American Revolution. Read together, the stories are an inclusive portrait of life in London Town in the eighteenth-century colonial south. As a teaching resource, the book can be used across the disciplines and in a variety of subject areas.
The Children's Lives at Colonial London Town website has a number of interactive features, including maps, a timeline, and glossary. Site visitors will also find additional background information on the people and places in the stories and learn more about present-day London Town.
The project was the recipient of the 2012 Social Studies Program of Excellence Award from the Middle States Regional Council for the Social Studies, an affiliate of the National Council for the Social Studies.
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