Placing Primary Sources

“Every  event  has  both  a  temporal  and  spatial  tag. In history,
 we  usually  know  when  something  happened  with  a  high  degree  of  certainty.     We  may  have  less  precise  knowledge  of  where  it happened.”

Welcome to the Virginia Geographic Alliance’s Placing Primary Sources Story Map Collection. The quote above was shared by Dr. David Bodenhamer (author of The Spatial Humanities, and Deep Maps and Spatial Narratives)  to a group of Virginia teachers during a historical GIS (Geographic Information Systems) summer institute in 2007. Since his presentation, the accessibility and functionality of GIS has reached an all-time high.  Esri developed  ArcGIS Online and provides free organizational accounts to any US k-12 school. Recognizing the many ways GIS can enhance classroom teaching, VGA assembled a team of practicing teachers to create a series of best practice historical GIS Story Maps. The goal of this collection is to provide K-16 teachers with interactive and dynamic classroom materials that highlight the role that geography played in shaping key events and episodes of American History.

For Students
Select a Story Map Journal and then click the “i” symbol”then select Open in Map Viewer to go directly to the full screen story map.

For Teachers (click to access resources)

Developed by teachers for teachers, each story map contains carefully selected primary sources that are embedded into a multi-layered ArcGIS Online Story Map.  A Teacher’s Guide and Student Guide that follows the inquiry process accompany each Story Map.

We hope these resources fill a need in your classroom and make the teaching interplay between geography and history more meaningful, accessible, and exciting for you and your students.  Feel free to modify or adjust any lesson plan to meet your classroom needs and realities.

Chris Bunin, Albemarle High School, Project Director

*Project made possible with support from the Virginia Geographic Alliance, The Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region, and Esri (Environment Science Research Institute).