Crossroads of History Project

Using Primary Sources to Develop and Implement Informed Meaningful Activity Plans Based on Social Justice and Civil Rights Issues

Free Professional Development for Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS)

Western Region

For all educators based within the Western Region

NCCE’s Crossroads of History Project is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress (subsequently referred to as “the Library”) Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Western Region Program, coordinated by the Metropolitan State University of Denver. This project allows learners to use primary sources and social justice standards to conduct meaningful dialog, learn and develop historical inquiries, and inspire informed actions that give voice to marginalized communities.

Crossroads of History is a completely virtual professional learning experience for educators across the spectrum including:

  • PreK-16 educational professionals including pre-service teachers
  • Public librarians and leaders of tribal youth groups, faith-based youth groups, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, before and after school programs, adult education leadership programs, and other “outside of the classroom” programs.

Project participants that successfully complete course activities and submit a lesson plan or activity according to course requirements:

  • Will be recognized by NCCE as a Crossroads of History project participant
  • Will be enrolled in the Crossroads of History Educator community with access to peer-to-peer networks and coaching
  • Will be eligible for university credit or Washington State Clock Hours
  • Will receive a certificate of completion and be highlighted by NCCE via social media
  • Have an opportunity to be featured on the NCCE blog and on social media outlets
  • Will be eligible to be selected to participate in the Teacher-Librarian Summit at the 2023 NCCE Conference with an option to present
  • Will be placed in a random drawing to attend a relevant western region conference. (Includes: registration, travel, and housing expenses)

Crossroads of History Project

This fully online experience is comprised of training using best practices in synchronous and asynchronous learning and work time, guidance, and reflection. The culmination of the project is the creation of an activity plan to put into practice and to share with other educators.   

Crossroads of History Overview


Phase 1Self-Paced Activities (1-2 hours)  

Lessons to be completed at the participants’ own pace learning about the Library, primary sources, and project details. Participants will:  

  • Identify the marginalized population that will be the focus of their lesson/activity as well as a specific time period or event that impacted that community and how it relates to current events.
  • Be introduced to the Library resources, trained on how to access and search for primary sources related to the specific population and/or historical events that will be the focus of their activities.

Phase 2 Synchronous Group Meeting (2-4 hours)  

Introduction to cohort members, information including project goals and expectations, further training on accessing relevant primary sources, activity plan development, and peer-topeer facilitated discussions. Participants will:  

  • Build connections with fellow cohort members to establish collaborative relationships for future planning and resource sharing.
  • Trainer assistance in narrowing focus topic in relation to use of the Library resources for research.  Trainers give general instruction accessing resources as well as specific focused instruction on use of databases to assist in research based on cohort members needs.

Phase 3 Synchronous Group Meeting (1-2 hours)  

Review, sharing of findings, check-in for progress on research, peer discussions, instructional coaching as needed. Participants will:  

  • Focused training and troubleshooting with cohort members on primary source usage. Collaborative relationships between members to strengthen resource sharing and knowledge for activity plan development.
  • Status update from each member on research progress, narrowing their search and integrating primary sources to their activity plans.

Phase 4Self-paced Activities (2-4 hours)  

Continued project research and development culminating in posting activity plan for peer review/feedback and revision. Participants will:  

  • Utilizing primary sources to continue higher level research.
  • Activity plan drafted and submitted for collaborative review among trainer and cohort group peers.

Phase 5 — Synchronous Group Meeting (2-4 hours)  

Revised activity plan sharing, collaboration, discussion dedicated to sharing plans including collaborating and asking questions to develop and solidify the plan. Participants will:  

  • Presentation of activity plans to peer cohort members and trainer, group discussion and revision through collaboration.
  • Edit activity plan with special consideration give to correct citation of primary sources.

Phase 6 Activity Plan Submission and Implementation  

Participants will share completed activity plans to the Creative Commons OER hub and the C3 Teacher Inquiry Website, the TPS Teachers Network, publications, and TPS events when possible. Finally, participants will implement the activity plan and share results of implementation with the Crossroads of History community. Participants will:  

  • Submit completed activity plans for publication.
  • Present activity plans to intended audience of learners, with formative survey and report shared with the Crossroads of History community.

2023 Cohort Dates

Cohort 5: January 23rd-February 28th

Cohort 6: February 20th-March 30th

Registration is open until the day the cohort begins. 

Project Contact Information

 Contact Shannon Davenport

Director of Professional Learning