Digital Resources for Georgia’s Students: Hidden Histories and Historical Markers

The Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is dedicated to offering trustworthy resources that support K-12 teachers’ digital classrooms. Over the coming weeks GHS will be working diligently to provide educators and parents valuable tools and information to meet the needs of students during the Covid-19 school closures. The “Digital Resources for Georgia’s Students” blog series will explore GHS’s extensive catalog of online resources for learning Georgia and American history and offer strategies for using them at home or in a digital classroom.

Roadside historical markers can be found throughout the State of Georgia. Erected over the past seventy years, Georgia’s markers reflect a variety of topics as well as a variety of authors. Typically around 130 words (excluding titles and “erected by” language) markers allow visitors and residents to learn about a person, place, or event that helped shape Georgia’s history.

The Georgia Historical Marker Program consists of over 2,100 historical markers across the state. You can explore all markers in the Georgia Historical Marker Program through GHS’s online marker database. By following this link, you can search by marker program, subject, location, time period, and more! 

Hidden Histories” is a collaborative project between the Savannah College of Art and Design and the Georgia Historical Society. Students use historic and contemporary photographs, artwork, maps, and literary resources to create their own original research and works of art related to marker subjects. “Hidden Histories” provides audiences with an in-depth look into the stories behind certain historical markers, and displays relevant GHS archival material. 

Check out the “Hidden Histories” webpage on the GHS website to see the unique stories behind historical markers and the primary sources used to bring those stories to life.

Historical Markers can be a valuable classroom resource. Markers are great options for establishing research topics from American history with a Georgia focus. “Hidden Histories” is just one example of how to use historical markers in your classroom.

Here are a few more ideas:

Go Beyond the Text: Using Historical Markers to Explore Georgia History. Students can learn more from a historical marker than what the text tells them. For example, students can determine what year the marker was erected, who erected the historical marker, and what number the marker is in its county. Read the blog post here to learn more about how to go beyond the text of historical markers.

Looking for a research project? Have students Create Your Own Historical Marker! This blog post explains the four steps to creating historical markers and provides a student-friendly worksheet for tracking their research.

Students can explore historical markers through the Online Historical Marker Database or by completing an Online Georgia Historical Marker Scavenger Hunt. The FDR in Georgia scavenger hunt guides students through the impact of President Franklin Roosevelt in Georgia and the History of Medicine in Georgia scavenger hunt helps students understand how Georgia’s doctors and medical institutions have shaped our state’s past.

If you want to see featured historical markers check out the weekly #MarkerMonday blog published weekly on all GHS social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.