Teaching Iowa History With Local Resources
“Teaching Iowa History With Local Resources” addresses the need for state-specific professional development by (1) providing public school educators with state specific historical information; (2) inspiring educators to teach history with Iowa stories and cultural resources, connecting historical events to local communities through objects, photos and local history; (3) connecting educators to local museum educators and museum collections to illustrate curricular themes with the goal of connecting students to local stories and authentic artifacts to enable them to better understand history at the state, national and international level.
In July 2015 and July 2016, the IMA piloted this project through Heartland AEA using as our theme "Westward Expansion and the Civil War". During a two day workshop, instructors shared general history, Iowa history, and specific local history stories related to westward expansion and the Civil War. They illustrated those stories with artifacts from Iowa museum collections.
Participants in the workshop capped off the two day workshop by developing a lesson plan for their grade level which used Iowa history and authentic artifacts to illustrate a larger historic theme.
Educators received a printed "Resource Guide" which includes county-specific historical stories related to the theme "Westward Expansion & the Civil War", photographs of artifacts in museum collections related to that theme, and contact information for museums in that county.
IMA will, over time, develop additional themes including but not limited to immigration, native Americans, women's history, and civil rights.
A Resource Guide will be created for each thematic curriculum which will include Iowa history stories, artifacts and museums contact information for further exploring those stories, artifacts and connecting museums with area educators. Resource Guides and other materials will eventually be posted on the IMA website for any educators to access.
The contact person for this program is Cyndi Sweet
, Director, Iowa Museum Association.