Connected Learning Content-Area Literacy

Studying and Teaching Our Complicated Histories

Redwood Writing Project | Building a More Perfect Union

Summary:

Teachers from the Redwood Writing Project participated in a year-long study group where they discussed scholarship, texts, and resources focused on untold local histories of Humboldt County and California. The project culminated in a rich set of classroom units based on topics of interest to California educators and beyond.

Teachers from the Redwood Writing Project participated in a year-long study group where they discussed scholarship, texts, and resources focused on untold local histories of Humboldt County and California. Engaging with historical archives and institutions, University scholars, and partners from local Indigenous communities, teachers took a deep dive into topics of interest and studied their county while developing a community amongst themselves that crossed grades and disciplines. The project culminated with the creation of classroom units on topics including Civic Engagement and Civic Journalism, Effective Use of Primary Sources with An Emphasis on Art and, Indigenous Funds of Knowledge.

In this interview, Anne Hartline walks through the full set of lessons plans and resources created and published by the team. She provides details about each lessons’ context while also suggesting ways that teachers from different parts of California and beyond might use them.

Related resources

Civic Engagement and Civic Journalism: Lessons and Resources
The lessons in this collection were cultivated from the resources presented during our larger group meetings, and are designed to encourage students to engage with their communities and take an active role in civic life by many means of engagement, including but not limited to, civic journalism.

Effective Use of Primary Sources with An Emphasis on Art: Lessons and Resources
The lessons in this collection are designed to encourage teachers to incorporate primary sources, especially visual images and resources, into their U.S. History lessons. Many of the lessons can be adapted for use in 4th grade through high school classrooms.

Indigenous Funds of Knowledge: Lessons and Resources
The lessons in this collection were developed under the guidance of recognized retired educator Page Matilton who is a Natinixwe (Hupa) member. The development of both units involved extensive research, and both contain a wealth of primary and secondary sources.

Notes:

This post is part of a series of posts tagged #BuildingaMorePerfectUnion which feature resources developed through the National Writing Project’s Building a More Perfect Union program which supported organizations to develop programming in anticipation of the upcoming 250th anniversary of the founding of the United States while assisting in recovering from interruptions to operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. Building a More Perfect Union was part of the American Rescue Plan at the National Endowment for the Humanities. Learn more about the Building a More Perfect Union program.