Beth A Twiss Houting

One of Beth's main responsibilities at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania is educational programs. She organizes teacher professional development, oversees development of classroom resources, coordinates National History Day at HSP, and arranges for student visits to the library. She brings three decades of experiencing working with grades K12 in a variety of museum settings and has taught at the University of the Arts. Teachers and students should feel free to contact her for assistance with history education projects.

This Author's Posts

Common Core standards have been adopted in Pennsylvania and 44 other states as well as three U.S. territories. This is great news for history teachers - and other teachers who love history. The standards include reading and writing standards especially for social studies and history. These standards stress student ability to interpret and use textual evidence from informational and non-fiction sources.

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As teachers, we are used to card catalogs, be they physical or virtual, for finding materials in a library.  Archives have additional methods that teachers and students can use to search for primary sources on a subject.   This blog will talk about HSP's finding aids and subject guides.


In this blog, we will explore the Digital Library, another way of finding primary sources on HSP's website - one where you will be able to "see" actual documents.   These documents may be of letters, diaries, watercolors, maps, etc. 


Teachers are not just limited to the primary sources that are listed in the Education section of   Like anyone else, they can search the website in a variety of ways to look for digitized primary sources to use in the classroom, beginning with the Search box on the upper right of each page.


What are you doing this summer?  Coming to HSP, we hope!

Summer vacation is about recreation - of the sport kind and of the revitalize-your-spirit kind.  Look to HSP to help with the latter through choice of three week-long teacher institutes.  Applications are being taken now for all three, with the deadline for "Franklin's Thrift" being extended to May 1.


Do your students have baseball fever?  Capitalize on it in the classroom by using our unit plan on the Pythian's Base Ball Club to teach African American and civil rights history.


Is Thrift an idea that defines American qualities, or just an old fashioned concept that has no place in modern America?   What does thrift mean today?  What is its relevance in post-Recession America? 

Come and learn for yourself at a Teacher Institute on Ben Franklin's Thrift July 29 through August 2. 


Did you know that the Historical Society of Pennsylvania can be a resource for teaching about the War of 1812?  In June, we will commemorate the beginning of the War of 1812 with a Document Display Day on Monday, June 18 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  

But before the school year ends, check out our online resources! 


Teachers have a chance this summer to move learn more about Philadelphia history AND to contribute to The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia by registering for the summer institute Philadelphia History For Teachers. From July 16 to 20, teachers will hear lectures by renowned historians, participate in hands-on workshops, take behind-the-scenes tours, and discuss how to put this knowledge into action.


Did you know that the Emancipation Proclamation is approaching an anniversary?  On September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which went into full effect on January 1, 1863.