The “Children’s Lives at Colonial London Town” project, which was developed by UMBC’s Center for History Education’s “Making American History Master Teachers in Anne Arundel County” program, is 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. The award will be given on March 8, 2012 in Baltimore.
Marjoleine Kars, chair of history, has worked with a group of 4th and 5th grade teachers from Anne Arundel County Public Schools for the past four years. She and Mary Davis, her AACPS teacher specialist, developed the London Town project as a way to engage the teachers in doing authentic historical research that would supplement and enrich the school curriculum. The teachers determined that their students would be interested in learning about the lives of children who lived at London Town during the colonial period.
Kars, Davis and curators and education specialists at Historic London Town and Gardens, near Annapolis, MD, assisted the teachers as they worked with primary materials on site and in various collections to craft a storybook based on the lives of three families. In Fall 2011, the teachers began piloting the materials with their students. At the same time, UMBC initiated the next phase of the project: The creation of an interactive, digital resource called “Children’s Lives at Colonial London Town.” The project’s website is being designed by the UMBC New Media Studio and will feature rich historical materials, maps, timelines, as well an interactive storybook.
The website is due to launch in Summer 2012 and will be used in a program of teacher professional development during the 2012-2013 school year.