History Curriculum with Primary Documents

Building a More Powerful History Curriculum with Primary Documents

Building a More Powerful History Curriculum with Primary Documents

How can an old photograph, some ancient statues, and a colonial bestseller equip you to teach the past better? How can you make history be not only a better window into the past, but also a useful mirror for the present and a vital lamp into the future? See how your history education can be much more than learning about the stuff that happened before today. A well-considered history curriculum, using primary documents in creative ways, can become a powerful ally in your quest to cultivate critical thinking, healthy self-reflection, and productive social engagement in your children.

Building a More Powerful History Curriculum with Primary Documents:
The Study of the Past as Window, Mirror, and Lamp


Lisa Hawkins was born and raised in New York City, although she also lived for some time in Miami, Puerto Rico, and on a commune in San Diego. Presently she lives right outside Philadelphia. She majored in history at Swarthmore College, where she also earned her high-school teaching certification. In addition, she completed graduate work at Widener University with a focus on English and education. Lisa worked for four years at an inner-city classical high school, where she taught American History and American Literature and served as Dean of Students.

In 1997, she earned her Masters in History at Temple University, and soon began teaching college courses for Drexel University and Peirce College for adults returning to school. In 2005, she started teaching online as well, and to date has independently created more than a dozen different college courses, ranging from survey American History courses, to the History of American Business, Colonial History, Revolutionary History, and Western Humanities surveys. She has been awarded “Outstanding Adjunct Faculty” by one of the universities she currently teaches for. Lisa also teaches history courses online for homeschooled high school students, both AP and non-AP level and is a writer of homeschool curricula for Pandia Press. Despite all her experiences at the high school and college level, and despite her appreciation for the more profound academic and cultural expressions, she nevertheless is a shameless fan of The Simpsons, Napoleon Dynamite, and MST3K. She has also joined the rest of the world with her love of the ‘beautiful game’ and has been recorded by her own children frenetically celebrating the goals scored by her favorite English Premier League soccer team.