Lesson Plans: Researching Community History

Details about this lesson plan:

  • Designed to be roughly ~1.5 hours
  • Slideshow with introduction to research, followed by active learning activity
  • Intended audience is undergraduate or graduate students, and the general public
  • Should be customized to course after meeting with the professor

Proposed Session Schedule:

  • Welcome / Opening Activity (Optional)15 minutes
    • Section 1 of a white board wall: Write a word or words that describe your feelings or what you think about Baltimore.
    • Write a word or words you’ve heard someone related to you or a close friend who does not live here has used to describe Baltimore.
    • The purpose of this activity is to reveal biases as well as inform students that they are primary sources on Baltimore (where they live).
  • Short discussion: You do research already, even if you don’t think you do. Where do you start? What tools do you use? – 5 minutes
  • Slides: Introduction to research (see below) – 10 minutes
  • Group activity: Teams find primary resources online (see below) – 40 minutes (20 minutes to look at websites, 20 minutes to report back to the class).
  • Final thoughts – 15 minutes


Activity Worksheets:

Split the class into groups of 2-4, depending on class size. Assign each team an institution. The teams will report back to the entire class at the end of the session.

Researching Community History – Archives, Enoch Pratt Free Library

Cheat Sheet – Baltimore City

Resources for Researching Community History – Baltimore City