UMass Donahue Institute  
People in Motion, a Teaching American History Project

People in Motion website (Site launch April '09)

Program Overview

The Southbridge Public School District, in consortium with eight other western Massachusetts districts, and in partnership with the UMass Civic Initiative and the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association has been awarded a Teaching American History grant from the U.S. Department of Education.  This project, called People in Motion:  Immigration and Migration in American History (PIM), examines American history through the lens of immigration and internal migration, and also uses those topics to explore the broader story of American history.  Beginning in 2009, each year we will conduct day-long sessions during the academic year and a two week summer seminar.  Each session will include presentations from academics and other experts in the history of immigration and migrations in the United States, as well as workshops that help teachers connect those ideas to lesson plans which meet Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks requirements.  We will examine both large national trends as well as the historical development of western Massachusetts.  Our objects are to improve content knowledge, research skills, address state history frameworks, and advance teacher and student content knowledge.

Year 1 of our program focuses on early immigration and settlement of the American continent and the impact this had on both the European and native communities, from the colonial era through the early Republic.  Year 2 focuses on the mass immigration of the late 19th and early 20th century.  This will include the great European and Asian immigrations as well as internal migrations from rural to urban areas. Year 3 will focus on the internal migration of African Americans and the immigration of peoples from Latin and Asian countries, and their continued impact on many aspects of American life.

Participating Teachers Will Receive:

  • Professional development points or graduate credits.
  • A stipend of $100.00 for each seminar day and $700.00 for the two-week summer session.
  • Useful materials, including primary document sources to support the teaching of American history.
  • Engaging seminars, discussions, field trips and other activities designed to
    connect American history content to inquiry-based teaching and learning.

For more information or to register for a TAH seminar please contact

» The Teaching American History program explained

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