New 3rd grade social studies curriculum brings Sweetwater County history to life

Two textbooks bound with coils sit side by side. One is labeled 'Teacher's Guide' the other is labeled 'Student workbook.' Both are part of the Unit 1 Alpha/pilot test for the textbook project.two teachers and Aidan Brady of the Sweetwater County Historical Museum sit with their alpha textbooks.

Photo #1 - History of Sweetwater County, Wyoming - the student’s workbook and teacher’s guide

Photo #2 - Public Engagement Coordinator Aidan Brady of the Sweetwater County Historical Museum with Sage Elementary teachers Sandi Lininger, center, and Marty Albert, right, and their pilot textbooks

(Sweetwater County, Wyo. - April 17, 2023)     The Sweetwater County Museum Foundation and the Sweetwater County Historical Museum are partnering with County School Districts #1 and #2 to produce a social studies textbook on local history for 3rd grade students. The new work is titled History of Sweetwater County, Wyoming .

Teachers from both school districts received pilot textbooks this week for them to try out in their classrooms. The pilot textbooks cover Unit 1 of the local history curriculum, which includes dinosaurs, fossil fish, coal and trona, maps and map skills, and early humans in Sweetwater County. The final textbooks will consist of four units.

The project's curriculum encompasses a student workbook, teacher's guide, digital presentation, and learning kits designed to enhance student learning. Existing museum resources are also utilized, including education kits and YouTube videos.

The textbook project is being funded by the Sweetwater County Museum Foundation, a non-profit fundraising organization that publishes books and supports other museum activities. Textbooks are being produced by a committee consisting of museum staff, local teachers, and volunteer members of the Foundation Board.

Fay Quiroz, M.Ed.Educator and Museum Foundation Board Member, is particularly enthusiastic about the project. "Our team wanted to provide a viable third-grade curriculum that is standards-based, relevant, and incorporates a digital component, making this accessible to any educator and their classrooms in Sweetwater County. In addition, we wanted to develop a highly engaging curriculum that emphasizes our own unique history in Sweetwater County and the students’ role in shaping our identity today."

Museum Executive Director Dave Mead praised the collaboration that is making the program possible. “Museum staff, educators, and board members working together provide a unique, composite perspective of Sweetwater County history for our students,” he said recently. “This is an exciting project and we’re proud to be part of it.”