Thursday, August 22, 2013

Longfellow History Teacher Goes Back in Time on the East Coast

Longfellow Middle School History teacher Kimberly de Berzunza spent three weeks this Summer living and breathing part of her U.S. History curriculum on the steamy east coast.

De Berzunza
De Berzunza was one of 80 teachers selected from around the nation to spend a week in Old Deerfield, Massachusetts, studying the 1704 French and Indian Raid on the frontier outpost village in a workshop entitled “Living on the Edge of Empire.” Hosted by the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association as one of 21 competitive National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops, de Berzunza learned first-hand about the violent capture of 112 English colonists, before creating a lesson plan using a variety of primary sources for students to consider different perspectives on the event.

De Berzunza also visited President Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, outside Charlottesville, Virginia, as one of 13 Barringer Research Fellows selected from around the nation and Great Britain to research and write curriculum related to Jefferson. De Berzunza spent two weeks at Monticello and the nearby Jefferson Library studying Jefferson’s attitudes and policies toward American Indians, and writing three lesson plans for the Monticello Classroom website.

Students were required to analyze historical primary and secondary sources to consider how Jefferson’s attitudes and philosophy influenced his policies.
While in the area, de Berzunza also stopped in at the Shenandoah National Forest, the University of Virginia’s Special Collections Library, the homes of presidents James Monroe and James Madison and Chief Justice John Marshall, and the White House of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia.
De Berzunza looks forward to bringing these new experiences and understandings to her Longfellow students in meaningful and exciting ways. de Berzunza may be reached at