Becoming US: The Immigrant Experience through Primary Sources

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania is offering a five-day NEH Summer Institute entitled Becoming US: The Immigrant Experience through Primary Sources.” From Sunday, July 23rd to Friday, July 28th, 2023, the institute will immerse thirty educators in archival research and scholarly analysis, and equip those teachers with the strategies to build comprehensive lesson plans around the central theme of immigration. This institute aims to bolster social studies and civics education curriculum through the incorporation of primary sources and collaboration with scholars and peers. Over the course of the institute, teachers will examine immigration and forced migration experiences throughout American history, and translate lessons from the past within contemporary and future contexts.

The institute will engage the teachers with HSP’s renowned archival collections that document the stories of our nation’s past immigrant groups and their experiences and delve into how to effectively incorporate these narratives into social studies curriculum. Specifically, we will introduce a teaching model that allows students to pair historical research with family and community history, encouraging students to make connections between their past and the past. Immigration has played a critical role in the development of the United States as it exists today, and will continue to affect the country and its peoples’ futures. Becoming US: The Immigrant Experience through Primary Sources invites teachers to investigate, challenge, and reshape what it means “to be an American.”