August 24, 2017

Online Conference 2016: Discover & Explore with Library of Congress Primary Sources

Join us for the second annual Library of Congress online conference for educators, October 25-26 from 4-8 pm ET (3-7 pm CT, 2-6 pm MT, 1-5 pm PT). Over the course of two days, there will be 15 one-hour sessions facilitated by Library specialists, instructional experts from the Library’s Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium, and other recognized K-12 leaders. Each session will be recorded and, for a limited time, certificates will also be available to those who view the recordings. The … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: History Assessments of Thinking

Is the painting above by J.L.G Ferris—The First Thanksgiving 1621—a useful resource for historians who wish to understand the relationship between the Wampanoag Indians and the Pilgrim settlers in 1621? This is the question asked by Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) consortium member Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) in one of their Beyond the Bubble History Assessments of Thinking (HATs). Beyond the Bubble uses Library of Congress primary sources in "easy-to-use … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Primary Source Trail of Western Migration

Background The “Corps of Discovery” expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in the years 1804-1806 was instrumental in opening up western North America to settlement. After this defining exploration, fur companies further investigated  westward routes. Financed by John J. Astor's Pacific Fur Company, an 1812 expedition led by Robert Stuart began on the west coast at Fort Aster on the mouth of the Columbia River and forged eastward. A significant portion of the route … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Elementary Image & Text Analysis Sheets

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...]

Learning from the Source: 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...]

Featured Source: Official Program Woman Suffrage Procession

Review the Official Program Woman Suffrage Procession and read the program forward (page 3). What goals for the procession does the forward set? How do the accomplishments of the highlighted women on pages 3 and 4 seem to support those goals? Closely read the first 11 paragraphs of page 4: Why Women Want to Vote. What is the tone of the text? What specific words and phrases support your conclusion? What group of women do you think was the primary audience for this text? What specific words … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Newspapers

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) strike a balance between the reading of literature and informational texts and promote the use of a wide range of text types: “Through reading a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students are expected to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective.” [English Language Arts Standards: Key Design Considerations] Some items in … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Great Moon Hoax

Why do you think the illustrator created an inset, or a picture within a picture? Access this .pdf to see the image in more detail. Read the summary of the Lunar Narrative from the Museum of Hoaxes. What details from the articles do you see evidence of in this illustration? Compare and contrast the information about the Great Moon Hoax from the following sources. What did you learn? What similar information is presented? Are there any discrepancies? Historic Hoaxes The Spokane … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Determining the Main Idea of a Text

This is a guest post from Glenn Jensen, a national board certified U.S. and world history teacher at Kennedy High School in Chicago, Illinois. Glenn has developed an exercise that is a great way to begin analyzing primary source texts because it has students focus on what they know, what they can extrapolate from that knowledge, and how they can apply that knowledge to their own lives. Below he describes how he recently implemented the text analysis with his students; the activity, which meets … [Read more...]

Literature Links: My Daniel – Hunting dinosaurs in Nebraska

Below you will find numerous primary source activity ideas to use in conjunction with the novel My Daniel by Pam Conrad. Let us know which ones work for you. Publisher overview "All I want to find is one dinosaur," Daniel was saying. "And I'll find it right here. Like I do all my fossils." Wandering through the Natural History Museum with her grandchildren, Julia Creath feels the presence of her dead brother, Daniel, she remembers a time when fossil fever hit everyone, old and young -- a … [Read more...]