Education News for August 2022

Map of Kentucky with Adjoining Territories from 1795

This primary source is a map representing settlement and natural formations of the late 18th-century Tennessee frontier region. Created the year before statehood, it demonstrates the relative lack of European settlement in the region and the natural formations and barriers that existed when frontiers-people and settlers migrated to the area. Roads and trails were documented but largely unlabeled. 

Known as the Southwest Territory, Tennessee was considered the western frontier of European colonization at this time. Compared to more eastern areas, it lacked development but was not unoccupied or entirely undeveloped. Native Americans, including the Cherokee and Creek, had lived and/or hunted in the area for tens of thousands of years. Long-term European settlement in Tennessee began in the mid-18th century. The region gained statehood and joined the union by the end of the 18th century.

This source meets the 5.29, 5.31, 5.36, TN.07, and TN.12 social studies standards.

Discussion Questions:
  1. How many places can you recognize on this map? How do you think these places have changed since 1795? 
  2. Imagine you are an early Tennessee settler traveling on one of the roads on this map. What would you experience? What sights, sounds and smells would you come across? What kinds of people would you interact with? What would you bring with you?
  3. This source was created 32 years after the Proclamation of 1763. What would be different about the map if it was created at the time of the Proclamation of 1763?
  4. Imagine that you are the land surveyor who made this map. What natural formation(s) would be the most difficult to document? How would this affect the settlers who came to the area? 
  5. Tennessee gained statehood the following year, in 1796. Where was the first state capital located? Can you identify it on this map? Looking at the map, why do you think it was located there?
Visit our
website for more primary sources on this era of history, Developing a New Nation.

2022-2023 School Year DocsBox Reservations

DocsBox reservations
are open. We are excited that teachers can bring our collection to their classrooms for a new school year! DocsBoxes are educational resources that provide hands-on original and reproduction materials and historical primary sources to supplement the Tennessee social studies curriculum standards. Topics include the Civil War, World Wars I and II, Civil Rights and more! Each DocsBox includes lesson plans created by current classroom teachers and all materials needed. There is NO FEE to use these DocsBoxes.

During the 2021-2022 school year, we added new DocsBoxes (4th, 5th, and 8th grade Review Boxes) to help students prepare for standardized tests or as a hands-on way to assess students' prior knowledge. Reserve one of these new DocsBoxes to help meet those instructional needs.

To reserve a DocsBox:
  • Select the DocsBox you would like to reserve
  • View the appropriate DocsBox calendar for availability
  • Fill out the contact form for the specific DocsBox with an open availability
  • Wait for confirmation from Library & Archives education staff

Read All About It: Historical Newspapers Added to TEL!

Tennessee History teachers, do you use historical newspapers as primary sources in your classroom? As of June 1, 2022, Tennessee Electronic Library (TEL) users can access the Knoxville News Sentinel (1886 - present), Memphis Commercial Appeal (1847 - present) and Southeast Edition. The title list will be updated quarterly. There are approximately 452 Tennessee titles in this database.

Visit TEL for more details and to access these newspapers.

Tennessee Blue Book: A History of Tennessee - Student Edition

Tennessee History teachers, check out the Tennessee Blue Book: A History of Tennessee - Student Edition for student-friendly text, primary sources, discussion questions and assessment quizzes that tell the story of the great state of Tennessee! Students may now take the chapter quizzes online.

Note to Educators: If you want the answer key to these assessments, please email from a school-based email address.

Trailblazing Tennesseans:  People Who Made History in the Volunteer State

We are excited to announce our 2022-2023 teacher workshop series, Trailblazing Tennesseans:  People Who Made History in the Volunteer State. This workshop series will feature activities and primary sources corresponding to the Tennessee Social Studies Standards. Visit our website for registration information. 

Tennessee Student Mock Election

The Mock Election is a non-partisan, educational experience that gives Tennessee students a chance to learn how elected officials are selected. All Tennessee students are welcome to participate.

Click here
for more information on the Tennessee Student Mock Election. 

Tennessee Council for History Education Conference 2022

The Tennessee Council for History Education will offer an in-person conference in 2022. "Visualizing History:  How to Better Engage Students in the Post-Pandemic Classroom" will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Kristy Brugar from the University of Oklahoma, whose talk is titled, "What Am I Looking At?:  Visual Materials, Complexity, and History Education."

For more information and to register, visit the TNCHE website at  

Second Saturday Tours 

The Tennessee State Library & Archives is excited to offer their popular Second Saturday Tours again in 2022. From July to October, Library & Archives staff will give guests a behind-the-scenes look at the Library & Archives on the second Saturday of each month. Tours begin every hour, starting at 10 a.m. with the last tour beginning at 3 p.m. These events are free to the public.  

Our mission is to exceed the expectations of our customers, the taxpayers, by operating at the highest levels of accuracy, cost-effectiveness and accountability in a customer-centered environment.
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