Student Websites


Click on this expandable list to explore Massachusetts history through K-12 student eyes:

Belchertown High School

Easthampton High School

Caldwell Alternative School

Gabriel Abbott Memorial Elementary School

Deerfield Elementary School

    • A Day in the Life of a Student in Deerfield Past and Present

Gateway Regional Junior High School

West Street School

Hadley Elementary School

Hopkins Academy

Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School

E.N. White Elementary School

Paul R. Baird Middle School, Chapin Street School

Granite Valley Middle School

Drury High School

Florence Learning Center

Jackson Street Elementary

Leeds Elementary School

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School

Providence Hospital A.R.T.

Michael E. Smith Middle School

Shutesbury Elementary School

Local History Online

Living History Online IconLocal History Online: The Local History Online project seeks to expose students to historical methods by putting at their fingertips primary source materials pertaining to a place or event from their community’s history. The project allowed students to share their work through the creation of their own websites. It involved elementary school students from Amherst, Hatfield, Pelham, Petersham and New Salem, Massachusetts, and includes Teacher Guide. A collaboration between the Center for Educational Software Development (CESD) at the University of Massachusetts and area K-12 schools.

Amherst Public Schools: Wildwood Elementary

  • Shays Rebellion

Pelham Public Schools

  • The Pelham Town Complex

Hatfield Public Schools: Hatfield Elementary

  • Hatfield in Perspective

Prior Projects

Parker Charter School

Maurice A. Donahue School

    • Looking Back: The History of Holyoke’s Buildings

Leeds Elementary School

    • King Philip’s War

West Springfield Elementary Schools

Or click on map – for descriptions of projects and links to sites.

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Belchertown High School

The Bridgmans of Belchertown
AP US History students at Belchertown High School worked with primary sources from the Stone House Museum to research the Bridgman family. They used the family as a way to explore themes in American history..

Caldwell Alternative School

Leominster Treasures: An Unsolved Mystery with a Historical Context
History students at Caldwell School visited the Leominster Historical Society and became interested in the story of John Brown, a Civil War soldier from Leominster. They read his letters home to his wife and painted a picture of life in Leominster during the mid-19th century. With help from CESD, they turned their research into a game modeled after Clue. “Leominster Treasures” tells the history of Leominster in a fun and informative way.

Deerfield Elementary School

A Day in the Life of a Student in Deerfield Past and Present
After a field trip to PVMA, 5th graders at Deerfield Elementary created a list of questions they wanted to answer about the experience of schoolchildren in the late 18th century. Using a variety of primary sources and web resources, they created PowerPoint presentations that summarized their research findings.

Drury High School

Immigration and Industrialization in North Adams, Massachusetts
Students in two high school history classes worked in groups to study particular immigrant groups or businesses in 19th century North Adams. They worked with the local library and historical society to find primary sources and learn the context for the study of North Adams history. With a dedicated core of student web designers, they used GooglePages to create a website that combined primary sources with historical narrative. The students created a resource unlike anything else currently available online about the history of North Adams.

E.N. White Elementary School

The Immigrants of Holyoke and Their Churches
Third grade students at E.N. White School studied the history of immigration in America. They also practiced doing online research. They visited Wistariahurst Museum to learn about immigration in Holyoke.

Easthampton High School

Windows on History: American History Through the Local Lens
AP US History students at Easthampton High School developed this website as part of a class research project. Students worked in small groups to research local history topics in the 19th century, using primary source documents and images culled from local libraries and historical societies.

Hawks and Doves and In Between
Juniors and seniors in World History II undertook an oral history project to explore the realities of the Vietnam War. Each student was responsible for interviewing a veteran and a peace activist. They used their interviews to explore the common ground between the two groups.

The Market Revolution
Ninth grade students at Easthampton High School studied the Market Revolution through the lens of Easthampton. Using primary sources from the Easthampton Public Library and the Easthampton Historical Society, students researched how Easthampton transformed from an agricultural community into a mill town in the late 19th century. They turned over their research to the web design class to turn their projects into a website.

 

Florence Learning Center

Connecting History to the Present
A small class of U.S. History II students undertook this oral history project, designed to help them connect their own personal story to the story of immigration to Florence and Northampton. They interviewed at least one older family member and used that information to create a family immigration timeline. They compared their own story to that of late 19th and early 20th century immigrants to Northampton.

Gabriel Abbott Memorial Elementary School

Forbidden Friendship: Finding the Facts Behind the Historical Fiction
Fourth graders at Gabriel Abbott Memorial School began this project by reading “Forbidden Friendship,” a historical fiction book set in 1870s North Adams. They learned about Chinese immigration to North Adams and how to link local history to global issues. They discussed the advantages and disadvantages to historical fiction and created a website that compared the real event to what they learned in the book.

The Long and Winding Road: A Visual History of the Mohawk Trail, Then and Now
Third and Fourth grade students studied the 100-year history of the Mohawk Trail. Local historians and authors shared their research with students. Students then chose 11 sites along the Mohawk Trail to describe “then” and “now”, using archival and contemporary photographs and postcards.

Gateway Regional Junior High School

Welcome to the Hilltowns of the Gateway District
Ms. Piers-Gamble’s 8th graders participated in the “Hilltown History Project” over the course of the year.  A smaller group of students worked with their teacher to research the history of each of the seven towns that make up their district in the Hilltowns of the region.  They studied the Transportation Revolution in their area, it’s impact on the landscape and the immigrants who came to help build the bridges and other structures to support the trains. In addition, students interviewed local historians and presented their research to their fellow 8th graders.  The entire 8th grade then attended a field trip to the Keystone Arch Bridges, and two local historians presented on-site to the group, to help put the area in historical perspective.

Granite Valley Middle School

Granite: A Solid Foundation for Monson
The 8th grade at Granite Valley Middle School studied the history of immigration and industry, in particular the Flynt granite quarry, in Monson. Their year-long research project incorporated local primary sources. The website is a summary of this work on the history of Monson.

Hadley Elementary School

Farming in Hadley, 1800-2007
A team of three classes worked on a project about agriculture in Hadley across three centuries. The fifth grade class studied farming tools. Based on photographs, newspaper advertisements, and secondary sources, each student wrote a paragraph about how a particular tool has changed over time. The third grade and eleventh grade classes focused on how changes in farming affected individuals and families. The older students interviewed Hadley residents and compared this modern perspective to the perspective found in letters and newspaper articles from the 19th century.

Hilltown Cooperative Charter Public School

Basil Dorsey: Case Study of a Fugitive Slave in Florence, Massachusetts
Seventh and eighth grade students at Hilltown Charter studied American history using Florence as a lens. Their website focuses on the Dorsey/Jones house on Nonotuck Street in Florence. Small groups of students worked with specific documents related to Dorsey, a local African-American abolitionist, generating a list of questions for each document.

Colonial Voices of Williamsburg, MA
Fourth and fifth grade students learned about the Colonial Era by examining an indenture agreement between two residents of Williamsburg in 1794. This was a springboard for their study of the early history of Williamsburg and of the United States, including making traditional Colonial floor cloths in art class, learning songs of the period in music class and creating their own living timeline. Their website follows this journey of discovery.

Holyoke Catholic High School

Chicopee at War
Teachers from two of the schools’ history classes worked together to lead their students through a project to look into the impact of war on the city of Chicopee.  Analyzing primary sources at the Chicopee History Room of the Chicopee Public Library, students looked at the city’s memorials to wars throughout history and the men and women who served.  Each group of students reported to the larger group about the history of these memorials and the role they have played in the city’s history since the war they commemorate.

Hopkins Academy

There and Back Again:  The Story of One Small Town
Students learned how to read historical maps and photographs from local archives. Students then went and visited the sites to examine the contemporary landscape. Through their research, students learned how places move and change over time. They created a website to show the changes in their town’s landscape.

Jackson Street Elementary

Kindergarten, Then and Now
Kindergarten students learned about the history of kindergarten in Florence and interviewed elders in their lives about their school experiences. Students created timelines of their own lives. The project ended with an Elder Tea, when students and elders joined together to share what they learned with posters and photographs.

Revolutionary War-Northampton
Mrs. Gerould’s third grade class tried to imagine what life was like in Northampton during the American Revolution for people from a wide variety of backgrounds.They visited Historic Northampton and Forbes Library (Northampton) to examine artifacts and look at documents from the time period, to help them develop their characters. Their final project was to create a Living History Museum, using their drawings and writings and peopled by their characters.

Leeds Elementary School

This is Our Street
Fourth graders studied the local landscape and how the growth of a town like Florence is influenced by both landscape and historic events. They looked at the role geography plays in how a city is planned and how events of the 19th century affected the growth of Florence.

Northampton-Revolutionary War
Ms. Wood’s third grade class began a study of soldiers from Northampton who served in the Revolutionary War. Following a field trip to the historic Bridge Street Cemetary, students created a database of information and photographs that they then presented to the Betty Allen Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

King Philip’s War
Students in 3rd and 5th grade learned about King Philip’s War and compared and contrasted the Native experience and the English experience of the war.

Leeds Elementary School

King Philip’s War
Students in 3rd and 5th grade learned about King Philip’s War and compared and contrasted the Native experience and the English experience of the war.

Maurice A. Donahue School

Looking Back: The History of Holyoke’s Buildings
Students from a variety of grades drew buildings from historical images of Holyoke as a part of art class. They visited Wistariahurst Museum and took a bus tour of the city, viewing the buildings and learning about the history.

Michael E. Smith Middle School

Our Connecticut River
As part of a class on rivers, seventh graders developed a website that focused on the Connecticut River and changes along the river over time. Students worked in small groups to interpret primary sources about the South Hadley Canal. The class also created activities, including a skit and a root beer recipe ingredient quiz, in order to present the material in an informative, age-appropriate and fun way to a second grade class at Mosier Elementary School

South Hadley During Antebellum and the Civil War
Eight grade students participated in a unit on South Hadley during the antebellum and Civil War periods. Students worked to analyze and interpret local primary sources, including a sermon given at the Congregational Church in South Hadley and letters sent home from a Union soldier to his wife in South Hadley Falls.

Orange Elementary School

Orange Women’s Temperance Union
As part of their study of local history and their lessons about health, students in Ms. Gervais’ 2nd grade class learned about the impact that the Orange Women’s Temperance Union had on their community.  Through an examination of a water fountain built by the Union, as well as a visit to the Orange Historical Society, students examine primary documents and artifacts, and learned about the history of their area.

Parker Charter School

1969 Harvard Strike
Students researched the 1969 Harvard Strike and, using Wiki software, created a website that allows for shared interpretation of the history.

Paul R. Baird Middle School, Chapin Street School

The History of Ludlow, 1774-1850
A team of two classes worked on a project about industrial development and change in Ludlow. The fifth grade class focused on the early development of the town by examining historical buildings, artifacts, and gravestones during a field trip to the town meeting house and cemetery. The eight grade worked in small groups to interpret and explain the primary source documents and images in the context of the industrial revolution. Their web page consists of student questions and responses to a variety of primary sources.

Pearl Rhodes Elementary School

History Portraits
Students in Ms. Huff’s combined 3rd and 4th grade classroom were studying biography, and focused their research on famous individuals (and some not so famous) in the early history of Massachusetts.  Students visited the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association’s American Centuries page and studied how children and adults dressed during the early days of the colony.  Students then brought together what they had learned about the people and the way they dressed into an original performance for their entire school community.

Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School

The Spanish American War
Two classes joined up to do this project on the Spanish-American War and its effects in the Connecticut River Valley. Students analyzed a variety of primary sources, including a set of letters from a local soldier back home to his girlfriend. Students then teamed up to create a variety of presentations about the material, including a comic strip and several original songs. With the primary sources and a narrative, the student projects are up on a website that will be used in the classroom in future years.

Powder Mill Middle School

A TRAIL THROUGH HISTORY: History of the Southwick Transportation Corridor – Southwick Rails to Trails Historic Sites
Individual students researched local history topics relating to the railway corridor in Southwick. Students worked with local primary and secondary sources to do a research project that included a presentation at a historic site along the railway corridor.

Providence Hospital A.R.T.

Immigration to Holyoke, 1850-1900
Working backward to develop a picture of the lives of Irish immigrants, students at A.R.T.  visited local cemeteries to find the names of individuals. Armed with a list of questions they wanted to answer, the students traced these names found on gravestones to primary source documents, including census and church records. A new group of students followed up on this research by combing the internet to create a resource of web links, images, and description

Shutesbury Elementary School

Edward Hitchcock and the Pioneer Valley
In 1802, a local farmer discovered giant stone slabs in his field. It took almost thirty years for a local professor and naturalist named Edward Hitchcock to identify the markings on the slabs as dinosaur tracks. Students learned about the original discovery and Hitchcock’s identification before heading over to the Beneski Museum of Natural History to see the tracks for themselves. The continued their research, and eventually created a website featuring their work and analysis.

West Elementary School

Immigration in Our Community
Tenth and fourth graders worked together on a unit about immigration in their community. The project began with a Community Potluck featuring culinary traditions from the students’ families. The fourth graders studied local primary documents and wrote fictional letters back to their families in the “Old Country”. The tenth graders interviewed students who are recent immigrants about their experiences. The two classes then came together to share what they had learned.

West Springfield Elementary Schools

The History of Schools in West Springfield
A team of five classes across three elementary schools studied the history of education and schools in West Springfield as part of their local history unit. The students looked at primary sources, including photographs, old primers and schoolbooks, newspaper articles, and artifacts donated by community members to understand how the experience of students has changed over time.

West Street School

Granby Then and Now
Third graers studied the history of buildings and houses in their community. Representatives from the local historical society and the local library brought in primary sources relating to the town’s history. The students then created a website that included contemporary and archival photographs, video diaries and short essays.