Aids and Suggestions Regarding the Teaching of Indiana History

Hubert H. Hawkins


Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 62, Issue 3, pp 251-254

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Aids and Suggestions Regarding the Teaching of Indiana History

Hubert H. Hawkins

The present teacher of Indiana history has a more substantial body of classroom materials at his disposal than ever before. While some items have a nominal price, many are free; and in no case should cost constitute a serious barrier. The discriminating use of these materials should contribute to more effective teaching and a richer learning experience for the student. In 1966 the Indiana Historical Bureau (140 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis 46204), the state's historical agency, will distribute approximately half a million pieces of such material. In most instances the Bureau provides materials to teachers in classroom lots without charge other than a refund of postage; however, responses cannot be made to requests from individual students.

For the elementary student the Bureau has a series of fourth grade leaflets entitled: The First People in Indiana, The French in Indiana, Pioneer Living in Indiana, Travel in Indiana Long Ago, and Good Times of Young Pioneers (four pages each, illustrated). Leaflets concerning the emblems of Indiana, the state seal, bird, tree, flower, flag, and motto (four color printing), are also available.

The Bureau also has a number of items for the junior high student. These include: George Rogers Clark, Chief Little Turtle, and William Henry Harrison (six pages each, illustrated); the Frontier Rifle and the Conestoga Wagon (four pages each, illustrated); The Whitewater Canal by Harry O. Garman (12 pages, map); Indians of Indiana by Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin (six pages); and The Word "Hoosier" by Hubert H. Hawkins (three pages, illustrated). A Brief History of Indiana by Donald F. Carmony (64 pages), now in its sixth edition, is a most useful basic booklet. The Bureau has also published Readings in Indiana History by Gayle Thornbrough and Dorothy Riker (1956, 625 pages, cloth-bound, $4.50). Mention should also be made of two "work

  • Hubert H. Hawkins is director of the Indiana Historical Bureau and executive secretary of the Indiana Historical Society, Indianapolis.
maps" of Indiana printed on 10 1/2" x 14" paper. One shows only the county boundaries; the other indicates the counties and the principal streams. The maps are $1.00 per hundred postpaid.

The Indiana Historical Society (140 North Senate Avenue, Indianapolis 46204) issues "A" Is for Axe—A "First Reader" about some Indian Artifacts by Glenn A. Black (16 pages, illustrated). This may be used with either elementary or junior high students. Indiana history "grab bags" consisting of 65–75 items may be ordered from the Society at $2.50 postpaid.

The Indiana Civil War Centennial Commission published The Impact of the Civil War on Indiana by John D. Barnhart (48 pages) and A Chronology of Indiana in the Civil War, 1861–1865 edited by Ann Turner (150 pages). These two publications are suitable for stronger junior high students and may be procured from the Bureau.

The Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission has begun a series of booklets relating to Indiana history. Three titles are now obtainable from the Commission (101 State Office Building, Indianapolis 46204): Handbook on Indiana History by Donald F. Carmony (77 pages), Indiana's Road to Statehood by Hubert H. Hawkins (95 pages), and One Hundred and Fifty Years of Indiana Agriculture by Dave O. Thompson, Jr., and William L. Madigan (74 pages). A few additional booklets, intended mainly for use by junior high students, are anticipated before the series is completed.

Two valuable sets of filmstrips concerning Indiana history have recently become available. During 1965 the Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission distributed a set of twelve filmstrips, covering Indiana history from the early Indian background to the present, which were produced by Richard H. Caldemeyer and Byron P. Shurtleff of Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. These filmstrips were presented to school units having junior high level classes, both public and private, and also to public libraries. Partly in color and partly in black and white, they are principally intended for use at the junior high level, but they can be adapted to use in elementary classes. Early in 1966 the Jam Handy Organization (2821 East Grand Boulevard, Detroit, Michigan 48211) completed a set of six filmstrips concerning Indiana history. These filmstrips, all in color, are chiefly intended for fourth and fifth grades, but they may be adapted for junior high students. The Indiana Historical Society still has a limited number of Civil War filmstrips in black and white available for sale. These titles are: Indiana in the Civil War, The Home Front and Indiana in the Civil War, The Soldier in the Field ($5.00 per set).

Many useful publications are particularly helpful to teachers in their continued study of Indiana history. The Indiana Historical Collections (44 volumes), published by the Bureau; the Indiana Historical Society Publications (22 volumes), issued by the Society; the Indiana Magazine of History (61 volumes), published by the history department of Indiana University; and the Indiana History Bulletin (42 volumes), published by the Bureau, are rich resources. All four of these publications are continuing series, and the last three of them are automatically available to members of the Indiana Historical Society. In 1965 Emma Lou Thornbrough's Indiana in the Civil War Era, 1850–1880, as Volume III of the Indiana Sesquicentennial History being prepared jointly by the Society and the Bureau, was published. Four additional volumes are expected during the next few years, all of them available without charge to members of the Indiana Historical Society.

Additional items may be obtained from other sources such as the Department of Commerce and Public Relations and the Department of Natural Resources. Outdoor Indiana, formerly a publication of the Department of Natural Resources, contained many interesting history articles. The Indiana Teacher has at times included informative history materials. Many local historical societies have issued items of value as have chambers of commerce and business firms.

Teachers of Indiana history and school librarians are well advised to become collectors of relevant pamphlets, pictures, maps, and books. Such collections have a continuing use. Teachers and librarians are cordially invited to base their collections on materials received through membership in the Indiana Historical Society.

Teachers should also utilize other, non-printed resources. In every community there are knowledgeable persons well versed in local history. Short talks by such persons can add enrichment and variety to normal classroom instruction. Guest lecturers can often be procurred through the local historical society. Almost every school is within convenient distance of a significant site, structure, memorial, or museum. Occasional field trips to such points will add excitement and interest to classroom instruction. With proper advance preparation visits to local museums or to the homes of early Hoosiers, such as Benjamin Harrison, James F. D. Lanier, and Thomas Marshall, can become meaningful learning experiences.

Published by the Indiana University Department of History.