Gather Here:History for young people
Gather Here is a place to collect, create and share Northwest regional history resources serving the needs of 3rd-5th grade students. An imprint of Homeostasis Press.
Gather Here is a place to collect, create and share Northwest regional history resources serving the needs of 3rd-5th grade students. An imprint of Homeostasis Press.
Gather Here's goal is to collect, craft and share Northwest regional history resources serving the needs of 8-12 year old students.
Our mission is to give voice to diverse cultural perspectives through exploration of themes in Pacific Northwest history.
Through our work with educators, cultural representatives and historians, we aim to build a collection that can be of use to teachers, museums and others in helping young people to make connections between their own lives and the history of the Pacific Northwest region.
The history of the Pacific Northwest is rich and diverse. While there are works available for middle and high school students, fewer authors write regional history for younger grades.
Valerie Stein began work on a concept in 2013 exploring some lesser-known pieces of history with the plan to tell those stories through the eyes of the children of each time period covered. Her own experience as a school librarian and her conversations with teachers highlighted the need for more history written for younger students. Valerie's dream, when she started her own research and writing, was to publish a series of works which teachers could use in a variety of ways in the classroom, in the form of books, nonfiction articles,short stories, and other resources. Mackey, one of Valerie's graduates, expresses his own needs as a student:
"I wish a tool like Gather Here had existed during my history education in elementary and middle school. Though we did have some research direction in class, most of my "take-aways" from history lessons were corroborated from a variety of difficult-to-locate sources. If there had existed a unified resource, or "treasure trove" of links, historical fiction and other relevant information, it would have been much easier to carry out research." - Mackey G., Edmonds, Washington
At 2015's annual Librarian panel at the Western Washington Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators meeting, the discussion centered around the holes in writing on state history, and the librarians’ difficulty in helping their younger patrons find relevant, engaging materials for their research needs.
This discussion connected Valerie with other SCBWI authors. A common goal was realized: we’ve created a publishing platform for works covering topics of Pacific Northwest history serving the needs of middle grade students and their teachers.
Gather Here, History for Young Readers
an imprint of Homeostasis Press
Our list of links to resources continues to grow. You can suggest or request new resources for us to share by alerting us through our contact page.
Many of the images here are in the Public Domain. Though not all images can be used without permissions, you can read the guidelines listed with each image to learn more.
You can search the site for topics in search box near the top of the page.
The Public Library in Everett, Washington has a wonderful Northwest History collection. Here is the link to their digital collection, where you can find out more about topics in local history. If you need to know more, you can contact the library’s History Specialists and get help researching your topic.
You can access the page for a wide variety of types of information. Here is a link to get you started with lesson plans. This link is to an interesting series of podcasts called “Tapestry of the Times,” which the site describes as “... tours through the wide-ranging sound archives of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings. Real music, real people, and the stories behind the sounds.”
Need maps or other images from the past? The New York Public Library released over 20,000 maps to the public in 2014. This article contains the link to the Digital Collection Page, but also connects you to other tools and resources associated with the collection.
Indian-Ed.org - Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State
The lesson plans and other resources are part of Washington State's new initiative, bringing Tribal history to public school classrooms. The Curriculum Page is newly updated to include lessons about both Washington state and US history at primary and secondary levels. The Resource Page includes tutorials and other useful information.
Seattle's Museum of History and Industry offers a wide range of exhibits, services and events. It is a great place for folks of all ages. The Learn page is a good place to find out more about educational programs, but you can also search the photo or research archives and visit the online exhibits through links on the site.
The Burke Museum
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture is the oldest public museum in Washington State. Their focus falls into three areas: education, research, and cultural heritage, and theircollection of artifacts serves a wide variety of patrons, from school age chidlren to researchers around the world. If you're a classroom teacher in Washington State and you're too far away to visit the museum on the University of Washington campus, the Burke Museum's travelling services might be just right for you. You can rent a Burke Box or arrange for the BurkeMobile to come to your school.
The Northwest African American Museum offers learning opportunities especially through engagement with programming centered around its exhibits. They offer hands-on workshops for students K-5 and Youth Curator programs for older students. Order a Story Trunk for your classroom, or visit the Curriculum page for free teaching materials. Check out the links to other museums and resources, like BlackPast.org, on the Web Resources page.
The Klondike Gold Rush museum is part of a National Park that includes not only the Seattle Unit, but sites in Alaska as well. The Park itself hosts regular programs for the public only in summer, but you can reserve and education visit during the school year.Connect through the Klondike link to The National Parks Service website, which is extensive and takes visitors to more links than can be listed here. Start on the Teachers page for links to the types of educational materials available through the National Parks Service, including Teaching with Historical Places for students grades 5-12, and online archaeology activities for middle grade students.
In addition to Family Day and Teen programs, there is a monthly story theater for all ages. Go to the Educator's page to find out about all the resources available for teachers.
There are not only curriculum boxes available to rent for your classroom, but the museum offers Educator Special Previews, designed to allow you to take a guided tour of exhibits prior to your group’s visit in order to tailor the experience to your needs. Booking a speaker from the Speakers Bureau to appear during your group’s tour can further enhance your visit.
El Centro de la Raza
El Centro de la Raza provides a different sort of resource than most of the links shared here, but their mission and practice are very important in our community and in our history. You can find out about the center on their extensive website, and even sign up for a breakfast tour to find out more about what the program and vision are about.
We’re honored to have been given the opportunity to share images of the murals gracing the walls of the center, along with their historical background and symbolism here. We’re working on adding this piece to our resources soon. In the meantime, here is a link to Nuestra Historia, Nuestra Comunidad, a video project funded by 4Culture to share El Centro de la Raza's history.
As with many local museums, you can borrow an Outreach Trunk for your classroom. Each trunk includes a listing of the Washington State EALRs addressed in its contents. Visit the museum for a guided tour, or take a self-guided tour with your class, and go on a scavenger hunt. Download teacher packets here, too. Music, dance and Nordic story programs are some of the other activities provided by the museum.
Visit the Puget Sound Navy museum for a variety of educational activities, including a wide range of opportunities for Scout troops in addition to families and teachers bringing classes. Check out the Navy STEM Days or other items in this listing, which include pre-and post-visit activities, as well as scavenger hunts and others related to the Navy Museum. You can book someone from the Speakers’ Bureau for your group, or email an archivist on staff by using the Contact Page for answers to your maritime research questions (we've done this, and the folks there are very helpful!). They have research materials on site by arrangement, as well.
Valerie Stein is publisher at Homeostasis Press. Her first book, The Best of It: A Journal of Life, Love and Dying, was published in 2009. Her current work is of historical fiction set in Washington State. Valerie and her husband live near the Salish Sea in a house surrounded by cedar trees. Valerie studied archaeology and historic architecture in college, and is delighted to combine to her love of history with writing for young people. A semi-retired school librarian, she shares occasionally with her readers on her own blog, The Best of It. Her first YA short story is in the Summer 2015 issue of “The Soundings Review.” Find her on Twitter @stein_valerie, on Instagram as @hpressbooks and at the Gather Here Page on Facebook.
Mark Holtzen is an educator and writer based in Seattle. Involved in elementary classrooms for almost two decades, he has an interest in bringing a wide variety of compelling stories to kids. One such is his “Kirkus Best of 2012” debut, The Pig War. Some of his stories are told through regional history as a way to demonstrate our constant need for community, and he remembers his own first realization that history was more than black and white photographs. Mark is fascinated by the compelling characters yet to be discovered, no matter what the time period. He looks forward to digging up even more loudmouths, unsung heroes, doers and underdogs--whether they be from his mind or from our rich Northwest history. You can visit Mark's website here. Mark also shares on Twitter @holtzymook and on his blog, Milk Jug. Mark's newest book, A Ticket to the Pennant, is available at your favorite independent bookseller.
Julie Artz lives in Redmond, Washington with her husband, two young children, and two rambunctious kitties. She writes stories for children that feature the natural world, folklore, mythology, history, and all that is magical about those things. Since her first work-study job critiquing resumes and proofreading papers at DePauw University, she's made her living with the written word. In a career spanning two decades, she's written everything from computer manuals to training materials, from press releases and marketing copy to gardening articles. Now, in addition to her creative writing, she shares about travel, gardening, reading, and writing on her blog, TerminalVerbosity. Julie also shares with readers on Twitter @juliartz.
Ann Haberlach Chenhall earned her B.A. in Social Science and her M.A. in Cultural Anthropology before her elementary teaching certificate, teaching in Washington schools for 25 years, primarily Fourth Grade in the North Thurston School District, always including Social Studies in a crowded curriculum. She is a third generation teacher and proud of her family’s Northwest roots. Ann recently completed a collection of memoir and family short stories. Under the Quilt began in the research for a nonfiction article. Ann believes history is often shaped by the point of view of those who successfully write it down. She enjoys writing historical fiction as it combines two of her favorite areas: history and storytelling. Now retired from teaching, Ann stays busy with volunteering, reading, and crafts. She regularly attends the Write on the Sound writing conference in Edmonds, and has several published short pieces. She lives near Olympia, Washington.
Susan Frederick enjoys writing historical and literary fiction, memoir and poetry after a much less fun job writing corporate communications for large companies. She grew up in several small logging towns in the foothills of Mt. Rainier in Washington state, where her father was a logging truck driver. Susan studied creative writing at the University of Washington and has continued to work on her craft by writing, reading voraciously, and studying with other writers. She lives in Kirkland, Washington. Her poem His Hand was recently awarded First Place in Poetry for the EPIC Group Writers 2017 Writing Contest. Her short story Rise & Shine was the first Gather Here piece published by Homeostasis Press, launching this project as its Children's Imprint. Timber Town explores the conflicts that arose when the outcry over Spotted Owl habitat preservation threatened the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest.
Amanda Hauk composed the study questions for our Rise and Shine curriculum set. Amanda was Lower Kuskokwim School District Teacher of the Year in 2009 (Alaska).
David Turnoy taught elementary school in the Portland, Oregon, area for two decades, specializing in bringing American history to his fifth graders in an accessible format. He has published American Tales: Stories of America’s Past for the Young People of Today, which can be found at www.americantales.net. The book is a hybrid of fiction [a small class of students travels back in time to various important events from the time of explorers through Reconstruction and meets a child their own age to guide them] and nonfiction [the history of this time period is told from the point of view of the common people and victims of the powerful elites]. He plans to write two more volumes in this series. David now lives with his wife and two cats on Orcas Island, where he volunteers and substitutes at the local elementary school and also tutors and mentors other children.
About our curriculum sets
Our articles and short stories are created for use in the educational setting, using Washington State History Standards as our guide.
These materials are downloadable in PDF format. Accessible documents available upon request. Hover over each item for the link to download or purchase.
Have a question, comment or suggestion? Reach out on our contact page.
Great Seattle Fire (free)
Author Julie Artz. Explore the Seattle Underground and learn the history of the Great Seattle Fire.
Seattle Playgrounds (free)
Author Mark Holtzen. Learn the history of playgrounds in the city of Seattle, and what city leaders thought it was important for residents to have places to gather with their families.
George Washington Bush and African Americans in the Pacific NW (free)
Author David Turnoy. This set includes both a nonfiction article and a short story. Study read about George Washington Bush and then follow the adventures of some time traveling kids.
Pacific Northwest Baseball (free)
Author Mark Holtzen. If you're a baseball fan, you'll want to read this article about the interesting and diverse history of the sport in the Pacific Northwest. Includes a rich collection of photographs.
Rise and Shine ($4.00)
Author Susan Frederick. Follow the story of Hope and Faith as they attend school while helping their parents run a large farm in Washington State in the 1930s.
The Confluence Project: Maya Lin's Art Landscapes ($4.00)
Author Mark Holtzen shares his family’s own journey of discovery as they explore installations of The Confluence Project along part of the Lewis and Clark Trail. Follow their trek through Washington and Oregon to explore the current sites of artist Maya Lin’s interactive public art installations. Lin worked with local tribes to design these works celebrating the history, communities, and ecology of The Columbia River system.
Under the Quilt (Coming soon!)
Author Ann Haberlach Chenhall. Sisters Dorothy and Carolyn witness a frightening event as their father, Carl, is threatened with being run out of town simply for being a German during World War I. In this fictionalized story of a family story set in Tillamook, Oregon, the author raises the question of how history is recorded, and how we must examine our sources of information carefully in order to understand larger events.
Timber Town (Coming soon!)
Author Susan Frederick. When a group of kids finds a baby owl in the woods, they uncover tensions they had not realized existed in their community. With the help of their teacher, the students explore the history behind the controversy of the endangered spotted owl and the decline of the logging industry that had been the livelihood of many in the town for decades.
We love to work with teachers to help put history into context for their students. As we find more opportunities to work directly with students in these ways, we are excited to share some of the work that comes out of these experiences.
The collaborative novel can be a powerful teaching tool. See our blog post about this project.
Soundview School's Collaborative Historical Novels
While some of the writing featured here is by students beyond the middle grades, the work we were able to do together was very worthwhile and certainly adaptable for younger students. We wanted to share the teaching model with you.
For the past few years, Matt's students have studied the Everett Massacre and written collaborative novels inspired by the events surrounding that bloody time in our State's history. Matt was inspired to teach a collaborative novel by a workshop with Joel Vilinski, who provided attendees with all the tools necessary for teaching this project. While it's a large undertaking, the learning students demonstrated after digging into historical events in order to tell the story of the time was remarkable. Hover over the title in bold to access the link to the novel.
** Note: If you need to access any of our files in a different format for student accommodation, please feel free to reach out through our Contact page.
Class of 2017 Novel: Cops and Wobblies
This collaborative story is about Everett, Washington's Wobblies massacre of 1916.
Class of 2016 Novel: Bloody Sunday
This novella- length work is also set during the time of the Wobblies massacre.
Class of 2021 oral history play: Marvin and Jennie Hoover, This is Your Life
Written collaboratively as part of an oral history unit, this full-length play also includes songs composed by the students as well as stage and prop directions. This script is shared as it was used by the class to mount a production of the play as their summative assessment of the Unit.