Primary Source Workshops

Where students become history detectives!

Let your students become history detectives during their next field trip to Mystic Seaport! Register your class in a Primary Source Workshop.

Using guided questions for artifact analysis, students work in teams or as a class investigating groups of primary source documents and other artifacts.  This workshop aids in the development of historical thinking skills.

Grades 4-7
Primary Source Workshop: History Detectives Program

For students in grades 4-7, we emphasize what primary sources are and teach students how to develop their historical thinking skills through artifact and document analysis. Themes include “Whaling” or “Life in a Seaport Town.”

Grades 8-12
Primary Source Workshop 1: The Curator’s Challenge

In this workshop, students work in teams to design an exhibit using objects, documents and photographs from the Museum’s education collection or main collection (grades 8+). Students develop historical thinking skills as they make decisions about what objects to include in the exhibit and what stories they tell. Each team presents their exhibit at the end of the program. Themes include “Whaling” and/or “The Charles W. Morgan,” General Maritime History,” “The Changing Perceptions of Whales” (main collection, grades 8+) and “Immigration: The Voyage to America (main collection, grades 8+).”

Primary Source Workshop 2: Arctic Mystery

Students become historian detectives as they unravel the clues found on two Museum objects. Collections staƒff will guide students through the workshop, encouraging participants to think like historians, read closely, source materials and weigh the evidence presented. This workshop serves as an introduction to the inquiry process and other methods historians use to understand primary sources. This workshop is only offered for grades 8 and above.