Every Place Has a Story

Every Place Has a Story: Teacher's Guide for Teaching Local History in Oklahoma by Kathryn  Shurden

Student and Teacher's Guides for Teaching and Learning Local History in Oklahoma

Kathryn J. Shurden, Author

Mandy D. Brumley, Editor

© 2014 

Student Guide ISBN  978-0-9907010-2-6

47 pages, 8 ½” X 11 ½” 

Paperback $54

Teacher’s Guide ISBN  978-0-9907010-1-9

107 pages, 8 ½” X 11 ½” 

Paperback  $74 (Teacher’s Guide is FREEwith purchase of 18 Student Guides)

Now adopted by the Oklahoma State Textbook Committee

How to purchase: Email us at kshurden@youarehereok.com

Oklahoma State Department of Education Course Code #5792 Local History


“Local” can be defined as a geographic region within the state, or within political boundaries, like city, county, or tribal boundaries. The study of Local History positions us to gain perspective and evaluate our own relevance in the larger settings of state, national, and world history.

In Modern Local History, students examine the people and events that have formed and transformed the local community beginning with the inhabitants of the area at the time of the Louisiana Purchase and continuing to the present. Students employ research, literacy, and social studies process skills. Students examine the economic, cultural, and political development of local communities, and they examine the strengths of the community today.  

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Every Place Has a Story

will guide you on a journey to learn your own local history and better understand state history, national history, and world history. The Student and Teacher’s Guides support a one-semester course. This process-driven, differentiated curriculum for High School Language Arts and Social Studies promotes learning through the types of activities, or learning processes, that are detailed for the teacher and student.

The inquiry-based activities challenge students to apply, to analyze, to evaluate, and to create. Challenge students to ask their elders, to discover local treasures, to find resources, and to re-tell the stories of their own communities. Lead students to extraordinary resources that are just waiting to be used. Help them discover The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture and the many federal and state government websites that are virtual treasure chests waiting to be opened and used in this way. Challenge students and teachers to engage technology, or use traditional books and paper resources.

Assess learning with writing, speaking, and creative skills, not just memorizing test answers. Twelve activity units use formative assessments. The Portfolio is a summative assessment for the course. 

This is Place-Based Education that immerses students in their own local heritage. This is learning that builds pride in the community and individual self-esteem! 

Every Place Has a Story: Student Guide to Learning Local History in Oklahoma by Kathryn J. Shurden

Every Place Has a Story: Student Guide to Learning Local History in Oklahoma by Kathryn J. Shurden


“In Every Place Has a Story,

Kathryn Shurden and Mandy Brumley have incorporated some of my favorite methods for sharing history…. By opening doors to biography, original documents, and local landmarks, we allow students to create their own paths of discovery and become historians in the process. History should not be confined to the classroom. It should be a lifetime learning process and this teaching guide provides a road map of how to make that happen.” -- Bob L. Blackburn, Ph.D., Oklahoma Historical Society 

"Wow! I love this project.

To me your effort will make a significant contribution toward students/citizens learning about their ‘place.’ I found it to be very comprehensive and yet I was also impressed that it had ‘degrees of freedom’ within it so that learners can really individualize their efforts to reflect their interests -- Dr. James A. Gregson, Associate Dean and Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Idaho 

"Every Place Has a Story

prompts students to become more inquisitive and observant about the people, places, and objects that surround them. Studying local history awakens a respect for the past and ownership of the present. The local history units help students to broaden perspectives and pay attention to detail. They can look at change and change agents which have affected towns, people, families, and organizations. Every lesson is an eye opener for students, whether it is a fun project or serious research." -- Sharon F. Mouss, Retired Instructor, Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology