Teaching with Primary Sources Workshop

Alexander Gardner photograph of Lincoln and Tad. The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana. Portfolio 10, no. 26. Library of Congress.

Cultivating Future Historians: Using Primary Sources to Teach Historical Thinking Skills

Dates: July 12-16, 2021
Location: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM), Springfield, IL
Participants: K-12 educators
Application Deadline: June 4, 2021

The Cultivating Future Historians: Using Primary Sources to Teach Historical Thinking Skills workshop invites up to twenty-one K-12 social studies educators and preservice educators to participate in a weeklong professional development event on-site at the ALPLM. During the workshop, we will use best practice humanities pedagogy, as well as primary sources and classroom materials from the Library of Congress, to examine the role of the historian, the processes they use to reconstruct the past, and how to create effective, primary source-based instructional opportunities for students.

This workshop is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Midwest Region Program, located at Illinois State University. Content created and featured in partnership with the TPS Midwest Region does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress.


K-12 and preservice social studies educators are welcome to apply to the Cultivating Future Historians workshop. Preference will be given to educators in the TPS Midwest region and those teaching grades 6-12; however, we invite all who meet the eligibility criteria to apply.

Application Information

Interested K-12 and preservice social studies educators were required to apply to be considered. Applications were due June 4, 2021 and notifications for selected teachers were sent on June 11, 2021.

Workshop Details

The workshop will be facilitated by the Education, Research, and Library Departments of the ALPLM.

Schedule and Readings

In this week long intensive workshop, educators will participate in a variety of activities to examine historical thinking skills, engage in source work and historical research, and consider best practices to incorporate primary sources into classroom instruction. These activities include:

  • Lectures and discussions led by the Director of Education and the ALPLM’s Historians
  • Reading and evaluating pertinent scholarship within the fields of history and education
  • Hands-on sessions focusing on the thinking skills and disciplinary practices used by historians to reconstruct the past
  • Pedagogy sessions focusing on the effective use of primary sources in the classroom
  • Tours of the ALPLM’s permanent exhibit and archives

To apply their learning, participants will work in collaborative teams to research and create a primary source-based teaching guide for the K-12 classroom using the Library’s and ALPLM’s collections.

A final schedule will be shared with participants upon acceptance and all required reading materials will be mailed to participants at that time. Participants are expected to complete all required readings before their arrival in Springfield.

Expenses and Stipends

Participants are responsible for making their own travel, accommodation, and meal arrangements; however, the ALPLM will provide two separate stipend payments, totaling $795, to participants who complete the workshop and the required final project.


Participants will be required to attend and take part in all scheduled activities. Upon completion of the workshop, they will receive a $400 stipend and a certificate for 60.0 CPDU hours. The hours account for time in the workshop and time to complete the pre-workshop readings.

Participants will be required to work together to complete a primary source-based project during the workshop. Once the project is submitted, they will receive an additional $395 stipend.

Participants will be asked to bring a laptop, tablet, or similar device as a significant portion of the materials shared during the week are digital.


All activities offered during the workshop will adhere to the guidelines set by the CDC and the State of Illinois. Participants of the Teaching with Primary Sources workshop will be required to follow all safety guidelines presented by ALPLM staff. Failure to comply with these safety guidelines will result in a participant’s removal from the workshop.

Participant health and safety are of the utmost importance. If at any point before the workshop it becomes impossible to conduct an in-person program in compliance with CDC guidelines, we will shift to a virtual format on the same dates. Participants will be notified of this shift; stipend amounts will not change.


If you have any questions, please email ALPLM.Education@illinois.gov

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