February 26, 2018

Literature Links: Her Right Foot

Tom Bober (@CaptainLibrary), teacher librarian extraordinaire and former teacher in residence at the Library of Congress, put together a fantastic primary source set to accompany the picture book, Her Right Foot, by Dave Eggers. In a post on Knowledge Quest from the American Association of School Librarians, Tom details a plan for pairing primary source analysis with the book to help students explore how and why the the Statue of Liberty was built and to deepen their understanding of this … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: U.S. National Anthem & American Flag

Help students learn about the history and contemporary contexts of the U.S. national anthem and the American flag. Teaching resources Learning from the Source: The Star Spangled Banner (K-2) Learning from the Source: The Star Spangled Banner (grades 3-5) Stars, Stripes and Symbols of America: Comparing Our Flag, Past and Present (grades 1-2) Direct students do some background research on the U.S. flag and the U.S. National anthem. Then instruct them to read at least one of … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Preamble to the Constitution Image Sequencing

Students deepen their understanding of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution with this primary source image sequencing activity. Lesson implementation Direct students to work individually, in pairs or in small groups to write a definition of the word “democracy”. When students have finished, tell them that the word “democracy” comes from two Greek words: “demos” meaning “people” and “kratos” meaning “power” or “authority.” Ask them if they now want to revise the definitions they … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: U.S. Constitution

Primary source lesson plans & activities American Memory Timeline: Primary Source Excerpts and Discussion Questions Related to the Constitution The Constitution: Counter Revolution or National Salvation? The Constitution: Drafting a More Perfect Union The U.S. Constitution: Continuity and Change in the Governing of the United States Preamble to the Constitution Image Sequencing Collection Connections Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Using Primary Sources with 21st-Century Learners

This is a guest post from veteran teacher Heather Klos, an 8th grade U.S. history teacher and the Social Studies department chair at Crownover Middle School in Corinth, Texas. As an early American history teacher, I know it is important to use primary sources effectively with my 8th grade students.  Analyzing primary sources can be very difficult for students, but it is usually my end-game when working with these documents.  I have found that breaking down the documents into manageable chunks … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Developing Information Literacy Skills

The Library of Congress has long realized that teaching with primary sources engages students and promotes critical thinking skills and helps them to construct knowledge. Early on TPS-Barat recognized the connection between the processes represented in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the process of analyzing and interpreting primary sources. This shift from a primary focus on content knowledge to the process of interacting with and comprehending, analyzing, and evaluating content … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Integrating Literacy, History & Geography

Informed citizens have knowledge and understanding of geography and history (see the College, Career & Civic C3 Framework). This is a guest post from Nicole Woulfe, a middle school social studies teacher from New Hampshire and a Citizen U pilot lesson implementer. I created the Geography & the Civil War lesson to allow my students to grow as geographers as we studied the Civil War. So often, students are overwhelmed by the dates of battles, the number of casualties, and the famous names … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Geography & the Civil War

This is a guest post from Nicole Woulfe, a middle school social studies teacher from New Hampshire and a Citizen U pilot lesson implementer. Learn more about the creation, implementation and reflection of this lesson. Focus Question What role did geography play in the turning points of Vicksburg and Sherman’s March during the Civil War? Content goal Geography Grade 6 Competency: Students will demonstrate and apply knowledge of geography and geographic tools in the study of the … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Zooming In on the Benefits of Primary Source Analysis Using Google Forms

This is a guest post from Alissa Oginsky, a museum educator and 6th-grade history teacher at Holmes Middle School in Alexandria, Virginia. Teachers are always on the hunt for new and exciting ways for students to exercise their critical and creative thinking skills. The journey, in fact, never seems to stop! Like many history teachers who have projected, printed, hidden parts of, and even cut up primary source images, I have seen the incredible power primary sources offer by giving students … [Read more...]