July 4, 2015

Literature Links: To Kill a Mockingbird

A scene from the play "To Kill A Mockingbird," performed in Monroeville, Alabama

Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is one of the selections in the Books That Shaped America online exhibition. The curator's note reads: This 1960 Pulitzer Prize winner was an immediate critical and financial success for its author, with more than 30 million copies in print to date. Harper Lee created one of the most enduring and heroic characters in all of American literature in Atticus Finch, the small-town lawyer who defended a wrongly accused black man. The book’s importance was recognized … [Read more...]

Literature Links: Alice in Wonderland

alicelitlinks

Find out some intriguing ways to connect to one of the most beloved stories of all times with various primary sources. The Immigrant Experience: Down the Rabbit Hole Library of Congress Relocating to a new country can be a disorienting experience. Immigrants often find themselves in a strange new world where the rules have changed, the surroundings are unfamiliar, and the inhabitants speak in strange tongues. In some ways, the immigrant experience is like the dizzying journey taken by the … [Read more...]

Literature Links: Predicting & Inferring about Woman Suffrage

Student Free Response

This lesson uses the Predict and Infer strategy; both the lesson and the strategy were created by elementary teacher and adjunct university instructor Kimberly Heckart, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Focus Question What did women do to get the right to vote? Content Goal Students build background knowledge of what it was like to be a suffragist and discover how women persistently fought for over 100 years until they were granted the right to vote. Primary Sources Susan B. … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Predicting & Inferring with Primary Sources & Literature

Mrs. Heckart Next to the Predict and Infer Board

This is a guest post from elementary teacher and adjunct university instructor Kimberly Heckart, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. “I developed the Predict and Infer strategy to help students develop historical comprehension skills while comparing, contrasting, and evaluating information from primary sources related to a particular time period. This strategy motivates students to predict the relevance and meanings of sources and then discover information that will help them make sense of the sources … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Elementary Image & Text Analysis Sheets

Image Analysis KWL Chart

Primary sources engage all students—elementary, middle and high school. Below are some worksheets to help elementary students, in particular, to analyze primary source images and texts. These worksheets were created by TPS-Barat and master teacher Kimberly Heckart, who teaches third grade at Prairie Ridge Elementary in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Elementary Social Studies Methods at the University of Iowa. Kim whose accolades include Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year for both the Iowa and … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Analyzing Primary Sources for Scientific Thinking & Organization

Scientific notebooking

This is a guest post from Tom Bober (a.k.a. @CaptainLibrary), an elementary librarian at RM Captain Elementary in Clayton, Missouri and frequent contributor to the TPS Teachers Network. Earlier this school year I wrote about an activity in which third grade students analyzed primary sources from the Library of Congress, specifically the notes, diagrams, and writings of scientists to explore how scientists organize information. The hope was that students would connect these organizational … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: The Negro Speaks of Rivers

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Lesson overview Writer and poet Langston Hughes was a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement, famous for his illuminating and moving depictions of African American life. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" was Hughes's first published poem, appearing in the June 1921 issue of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) magazine The Crisis. Since that time, the poem has been set to music repeatedly, as shown by the sheet music illustrating this post. Lesson … [Read more...]

Selecting, Excerpting & Modifying Primary Sources

Primary Source Documents

Have you ever wanted to use a primary source document with students but hesitated because you felt the struggle to comprehend the text would be the focus of the task rather than text analysis? In a TweetChat about teaching with primary sources, middle school social studies teacher Chris Heffernan (@cheffernan75) articulated the dilemma, "This has been a challenge in my building. Some say adapt & keep meaning. Others want them to experience original text. I'm torn." While some may say that … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Great Depression

Sculpture depicting a Great Depression breadline at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Primary source sets & activities Teaching Now: Determining the Main Idea of a Text Primary Source Learning: Great Depression & World War II Primary Source Set Dust Bowl Migration includes teacher's guide American Memory Timeline: Great Depression and World War II 1929-1945, background information with select primary sources & teaching activities American Memory Timeline: Photographing People of the Great Depression Lesson plans American Lives in Two Centuries: What … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Geographical conversation cards

Geographical conversation cards

Use these geographical conversation cards to learn about the geographical history of the United States as well as learn state facts. Lesson prep 1. Print out and cut up state cards and the Question and Answer cards. 2. Separate these into 5  groups of state cards and their accompanying Q&A cards. Because there are missing cards (AR, KY, NC, NJ, OH), some groups will be missing Q&A cards; be sure that each group has at least one state card with missing Q&A cards. 3. … [Read more...]