The Northwest Room Presents at Tacoma Educator Workshop

On February 24th, the Northwest Room presented to local educators at an all-day event titled, "Grit City Stories: Through the Curator’s Lens". This annual event was organized by Nichol Everett (K-12 Social Studies Instructional Facilitator for Tacoma Public Schools). Educational sessions were hosted by many local organizations such as Washington State Historical Society, opens a new windowPretty Gritty Tours, opens a new windowTacoma Arts Live, opens a new windowMuseum of Glass, opens a new windowFoss Waterway Seaport, opens a new windowBuffalo Soldier Museum, opens a new windowand Tacoma Art Museum, opens a new window, among others. These sessions brought together educators with local arts and history organizations to explore the benefits of connecting curriculum with local historic events and places, performance art, primary sources, and more.

The Northwest Room co-presented with Nichol Everett a session titled “Artifacts from the Northwest Room in the Classroom”. This session showcased a new social studies curriculum, developed by Anna Trammell and Nichol Everett, as well as a tutorial on how to navigate and locate items in our online database for use in the classroom. The new curriculum uses primary sources from the Northwest Room to teach about local individuals, marginalized populations, and public causes for societal change. Students interact with original documents and material connected with such topics as Tacoma’s Chinese Exclusion, Tribal Fish Wars, the local Black Community, and city politics.

Some of the specific documents in the curriculum include,

With these items, students can analyze these primary sources to understand how local events intersect with national history. They can compare and contrast the narrative voice and point of view of the author or creator of the document, and better understand how historical narratives evolve over time.

For the second half of the session, we shared information about using our local history research guides, navigating the collections in Northwest ORCA, opens a new window, and other library materials that would be useful for educators. Attendees took part in an extended question-and-answer period where we were able to assist them in locating subject matter and items to amplify the presence of regional content in their lessons.

We had a wonderful time meeting attendees as well as representatives from the other organizations participating in the event. A big thanks to Nichol Everett for putting everything together and The Museum of Glass for hosting!