Malden PD Workshop

Using Inquiry-based Primary Source Lessons

Presenter: Ann Pember, Malden High School
Date: Friday, April 12th from 11:45-12:45 in Br484



Review technology updates to a lesson on Irish Immigration and the Know Nothing Party
Use primary source documents to snysthesize essential questions on immigration in the 19th century through the site Pinterest
Explore other lessons from TAHG developed by Malden teachers

Ms. Pember leads Malden workshop with grade 9 educators.


Opener: (5 minutes)

How do we engage students on the topic of immigration? What lessons have you used on this topic?
Pair/share ideas

Activity 1 (5 minutes)

Background of the Teaching American History grant and a brief walk-through of the revisions made to the "Getting to Know the Know-Nothings" lesson, emphasizing inquiry and the use of primary source documents

Know Nothings Revised Lesson Plan
Ms. Pember discusses the design of her American History lesson.

Activity 2: Introduction to Pinterest (5 minutes)

What is Pinterest?

external image 629px-Use-Pinterest-Step-1.jpg
"Pinterest, a social media tool, can be used in my history class"

Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Users can browse other pinboards for images, 're-pin' images to their own pinboards, or 'like' photos.

Spend 2 minutes exploring the following examples of Pinterest Boards to get an idea what the site looks like:

Mind Madness
AP Psychology class review

One Brave Thing Contest
Student contest

Teaching Ideas and Apps

The Smithsonian

What are some of the ways you can use Pinterest?

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

16 Ways Educators Use Pinterest

Activity 3: Sign Up and Overview of how to work Pinterest (5 minutes)

  1. Go to

    2. Click the red button that says ‘Join Pinterest’

external image 629px-Use-Pinterest-Step-2.jpg

3. Sign up or Log in using your email address, for existing facebook or twitter account

4. Create a username and password. If you create a new account rather than using Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest will ask you to confirm your email address.
Next, go to your email inbox and look for the confirmation message that Pinterest will have sent you. It should contain a confirmation link that you must click on to go back to and finish signing up.

5. You will be prompted to select five boards to follow on Pinterest. Select any that you are interested in, you can always unfollow them later.

6. Next go to the "search" bar in the top left hand side of the screen, and look for "Ms. Pember". Follow me!

external image 629px-Use-Pinterest-Step-7.jpg

Here is a link to an overview of how to use Pinterest and create/repin boards:

Activity 4 - Hands On Inquiry (30 minutes)

Creating a Pinterest board using essential questions.

You will now get to play around with Pinterest, creating the final assessment for this unit on mid-19th century immigration just as our students will complete.

Working with a partner, you will be assigned an essential question from this unit on immigration, taken from the UBD curriculum maps the team has created. This is from Chapter 8: A Push for Reform in our textbook, Section 2: Early Immigration and Urban Reform.

Each group will design a board trying to answer your essential question and demonstrating the knowledge you have learned from this unit. Your board must include primary source documents/pictures, and an explanation of how each pin connects to your essential question.

Here is an example:

What happens when cultures collide?

List of essential questions from this unit:
  • Why do people move?
  • What happens when culture collide?
  • How did the reform movement illustrate a shift in thought about social responsibility?
  • What contributions did immigrant families from foreign countries make to our nationhood?
  • What can we learn from the experiences of immigrants entering our country?
  • How are we connected to the immigrants of the 19th century today?
  • What events in the world influenced immigration to the United States?
  • How does immigration relate to "e pluribus unum?"

You can find many primary source documents from our online textbook and the internet. Here are some direct links to guide you as you get started:
National Archives Docs

Digital Vaults

Immigration Pictures from the LOC

Irish Immigration Unit Materials from the LOC

Smithsonian Irish Images

Searching for images to "pin" to a Pinterest board.

Activity 5 - Share completed boards (5 minutes)

Each group will briefly share and explain their boards on the Eno Board.

Kerry's Board

Greg's Board

Damian's Board

Dana Marie's Board

Wendy's Board

Amy's Board

Nate's Board

Closure (5 minutes)

-Debrief - how can we use sites like Pinterest in historical inquiry lessons? How else can you use Pinterest with your students and in your personal life?

Next steps for Part 2

  • You will complete a scavenger hunt on the other 8 TAHG lessons on this wikispace page from Malden teachers, all linked at the bottom of this page. Answer questions on attached handout.

  • After you have turned in or sent your answers to me, please respond to one of the discussion questions posted in the Discussion Tab on this page.

  • Respond to one other person's comment.

Other Lessons Developed by Malden Teachers



The Chinese Experience

We Welcome Everyone, Except...
Is There Magic to Success!
Tenement Living
You Are What You Eat

2010 Units

2011 Units

Middle School


The Use of Free Speech to Effect Social Change: William Monroe Trotter and Voltaire

2011 Units

High School


We the Irish: A Story of Exclusion
George Scigliano Boston's Progressive Leader