Sparkman High teacher to help create new teaching guide

Erin Coggins

National History Day announced that Erin Coggins, a teacher at Sparkman High School in Harvest, is one of only 10 master teachers who will create a valuable new classroom resource. This guide will be the newest addition to the wealth of materials provided by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Consortium for educators in the United States and around the globe.

Over the next several months, Mrs. Coggins and the cohort of master teachers will work directly with NHD and Library of Congress staff to create and test this new guide which will present the processes for successful student research and the formation of strong, cogent historical arguments.

In its lesson plans for practical application, the guidebook will feature primary sources from the vast collections of the Library of Congress, the largest library in the world. Mrs. Coggins’s experience will include travel to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., for advanced training and on-site writing and development workshops.

Suitable for use by teachers at the middle and high school levels, the new guide will support the creation of a variety of student research projects, including documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances, and websites. NHD will distribute both print and online versions of the guide and will present a four-module teacher webinar series to feature best practices for the guide’s implementation.

“Mrs. Coggins and her fellow cohort members bring years of incomparable classroom and project-based teaching experience,” said National History Day Executive Director Dr. Cathy Gorn. “I know they will elevate this opportunity to showcase the Library’s primary source collections and provide their peers around the world with a coveted new teaching tool. We are grateful for this opportunity to work with the Library of Congress as creation partners for this valuable project.”

Applications for this program were submitted by 65 educators from across the United States, and the final cohort of ten teachers was selected by a committee of National History Day and Library of Congress staff members. The educators chosen for the program represent Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Washington, D.C.