Teams at LEARN have embarqued on the process of building a collection of guides, tools, strategies and project examples to help you explore the history of your region, all the while in the context of our respective subject areas and fields/scopes of interest.

A fundamental question began our journey:  How can learning about local history help me understand myself and my community?  For an overview of where and why we began this collection, read our blog entry Learning in Place: Working towards a local history learning toolkit.

To browse some of our collections in progress, see below.

And if YOU have participated in or heard of a great local history school or class project,
please let us know via this form so we can share with others!

What is Local History - The People and Places of Our Community

What is Local History, and Why Do It?

What is Local History, and what does it mean to reflect on, focus into, research then interpret historical realities in your own regions and communities? Why learn more about the place we're in?

Well, this is just the beginning, and we too are trying to figure it all out!

Visit our working collection of ideas, guides, articles and insights here ➦

People as Starting Points

There are many ways to begin to think, plan and organize your foray into doing local history with your students.  Here are a few entry points to consider.

Empathy Processes - Questions to ask about people then and now

"Empathy is a good place to start a project, and also a good rule of thumb for life.  It marks not just a place to begin but a way to discover who we are. Empathy also allows us to predict who is ready to learn more about our community’s present, past and distant past.  Empathy is inclusive, because it considers as valuable everyone who lives or has lived in a place, which is to say: everyone who has been affected by changes over time in a particular place.  We can start with the students we teach: Who are they? Who are their families? Then expand out from there.  Who are the people who live around us, but also who are the people who moved in, and also who moved out?" 

Here are a few tools and ideas to help you and your students empathize ➦ 

Cultural Reflections and Protocols

As preparation for meeting with people, educators might wish to get students familiar with issues of cultural understanding, protocols to follow, and then maybe tools for project planning and interview guides.  You might be able to talk with people you know, but in many cases the people who hold the knowledge are older, or hidden, their voices stifled by time and circumstance.  In many cases, you might need to cross a river of misconception or misunderstandings to meet them. You might even have to be the one taught to listen first." 

Here are a few guides you could use  

Questions to ask yourself and others

"Focusing on a historical period in history class can serve to narrow your field. Conversely, emphasizing an issue, such as immigration or land rights, helps to temporarily broaden the interval of the time you are studying.  Once you choose a starting point, you might need to ask yourself more specific questions These types of strategies will help you establish what curriculum needs a local history project could fulfill, and vice versa." 

Here are a few guides you could use 

Investigations - Guides and Tools For Research

Documents, Artifacts, Images - Traces We Can Find

Entry points to learning about a region will involve both people and places in your local community, both present and future, and you will learn from and examine further through a variety of types of traces. Sometimes those traces can be interviews with living people, but they could be through site visits, by examining photographs, or sometimes students will be finding and gathering documents, objects or artifacts they can interpret, map, place in time, etc.

And what's more, the way students represent their learning can also take many forms:  written work, art work, podcasts, posters, etc.

All of these types of explorations, investigations and interpretative processes benefit from simple guides and scaffolding tools, which we will be gathering in site sections like this.  Here are a few collections we have started:


Here are a few graphic organizers and questionaire tools to help you organize your interviews.

Click here to access our developing list  ➦ 

Working with artifacts, buildings, sites and other physical traces

Here we will be gathering tools and example projects and strategies for examining objects, buildings, monuments and other physical traces around your neighbourhood, or during class visits to Museum locations, or Historical sites.  Techniques like examining images or photographing locations yourself will be featured.

Click here to access our developing list  ➦ 


Over the years, LEARN has developed and collected many tools to help you research just about any topic.  Here we will collect examples we think would help you explore research further, investigate, gather and process information about your local region.

Click here to access our developing list  ➦ 

Curriculum Connections - Doing Local History in your subject area

Curriculum Connections and Learning Strategies

Here you will find different learning scenarios for doing local history, within and across your subject-area competencies and methodologies.  In time, this will evolve into the main focus of our local history kit project.

Community Profiles and Portraits
As a first example, here is an engaging multidisciplinary project to address elementary Social Science, ELA & Art outcomes?  Posted recently by Stacy Anne Allen at LEARN, the purpose of this project is for students to explore history in a way that strengthens their relations with local people and places. These relations promote authentic student learning, engagement and citizenship.  Visit the project outline and tools here! 

Local History Treasures – Information Recorder Sheet
A tool to help you Write down three potential treasures, describe unique objects, and consider the historical details surrounding the object and who, where, what was involved in your community.  View the recorder sheet here.

Indigenous connections to a local village: Abenaki example
This is a sample activity which starts with a few maps of W8banaki territory, then asks students to research both in terms of what happened to Indigenous groups and the history of a target village.  Students respond to sample Guiding Question suggestions: 
How did the arrival of Europeans affect the W8banaki peoples?
How were the involved in the history of Québec and/or the history of your local region?  View the two maps and the process suggestions here.



Again, if you already have a local history project started or your wishing to do, let us know!

Partners in Your Local History Adventure

Partnerships in the Community

Various partners in the community can offer you help and even collaborate in mounting  a local history project in your school.  Our own Community Learning Centres (CLC) provincial team and community officers have developed many tools to help you find and arrange partnerships.

Here we will organizing appropriate tools and strategies that specifically help you with your local history projects.  While we build these lists of resources, visit the CLC Toolbox section Of "Essentials" and in particular browse the various "steps" in The CLC Guidebook:
Steps to Development

Check back soon!

Local History Projects - Examples and Inspirations

Projects Large or Small

Local history projects can be large or small, and be tailored to fit the time frame of your choosing. What exactly can you do in order to respond to your student’s curiosity about their community? What can you do in order to flesh out local truths based on the needs of those who are listening?  We are building a list sample projects, taht we hope will nspire you to make a start.

We are just getting started!  Check out some of the local history projects we have recently found by visiting our Wakelet, or browsing below.  Again,  if YOU have participated in or heard of a great local history school or class project, please let us know via this form so we can share with others!

Local History Toolkit Curated Arts Resources

Curated Resources for the Local History Toolkit Visual Arts Project Ideas for Teachers

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Resources for Local History

Community Profiles and Portraits cycle 3 guide. Go to site 

Lesson plan for Local Tour guide. Go to site 

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