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School Outreach Programs

Go to the Source (grades 4–12)

This interactive workshop puts primary sources into students’ hands. Reproductions of historical documents, photographs, and artifacts help students relate local events to national history. All workshops designed to meet selected Pennsylvania Standards for History.

 Duration: 45-60 minutes,  Cost: $40

The Christiana Resistance (Grades 3-5)

Explore an important precursor to the Civil War that occurred right here in Lancaster County! Students will examine a letter written by Elizabeth Pownall, daughter of Levi Pownall. He gave refuge to the fugitive slaves from Maryland who started the Christiana Resistance. Students will learn about the event through Elizabeth's eyes and ears.

The program includes the letter, worksheets, and a fun activity for students.

Thaddeus Stevens (Grades 3-5) 

Introduce your students to the fervent congressman from Lancaster County with a variety of primary sources from the Lancaster County Historical Society. Students will study photographs of Stevens' home on South Queen Street, see the wig he wore, and examine the boot he had for his clubbed foot.

The workshop features a letter written by Stevens that students will analyze and connect to a major national event.

Burning of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge (Grades 6-9) 

Let your students paint a picture of the past…literally! Using a firsthand account of the burning of the bridge connecting York and Lancaster Counties in 1863, students will draw a picture of their interpretation of the event. They then compare and contrast their depictions with others' interpretations as well as actual photographs of the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge.

Postcards and letters about the event get students working with primary sources and making connections!

African-American Civil War Soldiers and Lancaster County (Grades 10-12)

Give your students a broader understanding of the lives of Civil War soldiers by studying letters written by two African-American soldiers from Lancaster County. Students practice transcribing the primary documents. Then they analyze and interpret the letters to learn more about the lives of African Americans during the Civil War.

The program includes the letters, worksheets, and an activity.

Let Lancaster County's primary home for primary sources help your students discover the excitement of working with real historical materials!  All workshops are designed to meet Pennsylvania Academic Standards in history.


Funding for this program generously provided by

Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission

Ressler Mill Foundation

Community Soundings: Recording History, Creating Community (grades 8–12)

Community Soundings is a part of's initiative to actively preserve local twentieth-century history. This project will capture and present the history of diverse parts of Lancaster County through the voices of its people. But Community Soundings also serves as an educational program. The interviews found on this site have all been conducted by local area high school students. After receiving training from the staff of, students went out into the community to interview their elders on a vast array of topics. It is our hope that by preserving Lancaster County’s many diverse communities’ pasts, through oral histories, we are able to better prepared to face the future.

Sponsored in part by the Bickford Foundation and by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.

To Participate:

  • If you are an educator and would like or student(s) to participate...
  • If you are a longtime resident of Lancaster and would like to have your oral history recorded...
  • If you have questions or comments about this project...

Please contact us by email or by mail at:
c/o Felice Ethun
230 N. President Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603


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