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

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has debuted a new short video series:  "Stories from the Archives" that might be useful in the classroom.  Each month a staff person shares something from our vast collection that he or she finds particularly interesting.  Each video is less than three minutes and provides teachers a quick way to either pique interest in a subject, showcase what an archive is, or illustrate a primary source for a topic under study.


Thrift Week may be January 17-23, but we are celebrating it in a big way on Saturday, January 26!  That is when we are hosting Engaging Students in Thrift from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. You will leave with a free issue of the Pennsylvania Legacies magazine on the topic of thrift and materials for use in the classroom.


With the Day That Will Live in Infamy last week, I got to thinking about how teachers might find resources on for teaching about World War II.  While one could just search the whole website, sometimes it is helpful to have an inside guide to know where to look.


Looking for photographs, maps or prints to aid in teaching the Civil War?  HSP has quite a collection and to help you locate them more quickly, we have created "Featured" galleries.   Right now there are ten of them, and one is "Civil War Battles." 


I just saw the movie Lincoln last night.  Fascinating movie for portraying Lincoln as the consummate politician - and a good period piece too. I wonder if any of you are using the movie's popularity as a way of discussing the Civil War or the 13th Amendment in your classroom? Share your ideas here.


Looking for new sources to use in teaching about abolition?  The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has the records of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which shed light on not only the lives of enslaved peoples but also the free black population  of Philadelphia.


2013 will be the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech.  The Historical Society of Pennsylvania has gathered some of its collection related to the civil rights movement into one section of its into website's' education portal. 


What do the Centennial of 1876 and Quizzo have to do with National History Day?  Come to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania on Thursday, November 1 to find out during a free teacher workshop.  Beneficial NHD Teacher Fellow Claire Frosch will share what she learned in a summer of searching our collections for materials related to this year's NHD theme of "Turning Points in History." 


Using Philadelphia's Chinatown as a case study, a teacher workshop on Monday, October 15, models a new HSP unit plan on understanding the role of community organizing in social change and how social change happens.  Learn how Philadelphia’s Chinatown has evolved over time and its ongoing struggle to maintain its geographic and cultural integrity.


Sixth through twelfth grade students are welcome to research at HSP.  Admission is free and beginning on Wednesday, October 3, Student Mentors are available to help guide these young scholars in their work with historical primary sources.  Mentors act as a "research buddy" introducing HSP and its different sources to students, working with them to transcribe old handwriting, and encouraging them to think about how to interpret a source.