Historical Society’s 2nd Annual “Communicating The Past” Award to Westmoreland School 8th Grade Social Studies Class

Congratulations to Paul Deschenes’ 8th-grade social studies class at Westmoreland School for earning the “Communicating the Past” Award for projects using local primary sources. That’s finding your place in history! Mr. Deschenes’ letter to parents regarding this project reads:

“I feel that the study of our family histories is an important part of understanding our nation’s history. Not only did all of our ancestors contribute to building America, but the techniques used to study genealogy are many of the same valuable research techniques used in a social studies and history class. In addition to giving our students a sense of pride and their place in their community, this unit will teach them valuable skills in writing, research, organization, art, history, and the humanities. Through their ancestors, students can learn about the immigration and Americanization of our people. And finally, I think the greatest part of this unit is that students will be working with their families…and will be learning and preserving their family history.”
Each student was asked to conduct at least one informal interview with a family member, conduct research in primary sources, draw up at least two letters requesting information, make and display a timeline of their family history, and use the internet for research. The students prepared a final report, PowerPoint presentation, or display to summarize their family histories and what they had learned over the year. They were also invited to add their family history to the files of the Westmoreland Historical Society.

The Historical Society of Cheshire County is proud of the Westmoreland School 8th Grade students and would welcome anyone of them to become research volunteers in our library. With the skills they have gained in this project, they are well qualified to do the work.