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Neighbors of DuPage

Darien teacher attends Ford’s Theatre Summer Scholars Workshop

Nov 17, 2015 02:03PM ● By Neighbors Magazines

Dr. Terry Alford (left), author of Fortune's Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth, with Darien Teacher-Librarian, Diane Nelson

Darien District #61 teacher-librarian, Diane Nelson, won a grant to attend the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholars Workshop at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. The class was titled, “The Seat of War and Peace: The Lincoln Assassination and Its Legacy in the Nation’s Capital.” The seven-day class was filled with lectures, class discussions, field trips, and assigned readings. Some of the highlights of the week included visiting the new Clara Barton Museum for Missing Soldiers; visiting the Maryland boarding house of Mary Surratt; touring the Frederick Douglass estate and learning about his impact on civil rights; walking through the Petersen House and standing in the room where Lincoln died; visiting Howard University and learning about emancipation and reconstruction.

As part of the grant requirements, each summer scholar developed lessons centered around Lincoln. Mrs. Nelson developed two lessons: one that teaches about Lincoln’s image on coins and currency, and the other lesson tells the true story of how Lincoln grew a beard.    

An emphasis was placed on teachers using primary sources as a foundation of their lessons. “Primary sources are the raw materials of history—original documents and objects which were created at the time under study” (Library of Congress, 2015).

“Examining primary sources gives students a powerful sense of history and the complexity of the past. Helping students analyze primary sources can also guide them toward higher-order thinking and better critical thinking and analysis skills” (Library of Congress, 2015).

For more information on Ford’s Theatre and their resources, please access: Ford’s Theatre Education Page

Mrs. Nelson is thrilled to bring more Lincoln resources to the district’s library program. Students from the Early Childhood Education program through 8th grade will be able to enjoy a variety of Lincoln-related books.