February 20, 2018

Timely Connections: Foundational Lessons in Democracy & Civil Discourse

"Conspiracy theories run amok. Fear of spies and meddling in American politics at the highest levels by foreign powers. A bipartisan divide so bitter that the federal government moves to muzzle what many politicians believe to be a biased, out-of-control news media." Current events? Actually, the excerpt paints a picture of the political climate during John Adam's tenure as president of the United States and is the lead paragraph of a book review from the Christian Science Monitor of Friends … [Read more...]

Citizen U: Lessons Infusing Civics Across the Curriculum

The Citizen U curriculum is a collaboration between the Barat Education Foundation (BEF), Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF), and DePaul University’s Office of Innovative Professional Learning (DePaul OIPL) and was developed thanks to a grant from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program. The goal of the Citizen U curriculum is to infuse civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions across the core subjects in elementary, middle, and high school grades. Working with … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning to Develop Civic Competencies

In the Guardian of Democracy: the Civic Mission of Schools report, Lee H. Hamilton, founder of the Center on Congress and U.S. Representative from Indiana (1965 to 1999), wrote: Citizenship requires both knowledge about government and the ability to be involved in governance. It means knowing how to identify and inform yourself about issues, explore and evaluate possible solutions, and then act to resolve problems. It demands that you know how to interact respectfully with others. And it asks … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Fake News & Civic Reasoning

Practicing primary source analysis helps students develop historical thinking skills that also happen to be very important civic literacy skills. In an article from the Fall 2017 issue of American Educator, Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) provides assessments of online civic reasoning and tips for going beyond identifying news as "fake" or "real" to understanding where information comes from and who is behind it. Social studies consultant and History Tech blogger Glenn Wiebe provides … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Enemy Aliens & Internment During the World Wars

World War I Historical newspaper coverage Enemy alien historical newspaper coverage 1917-19 German internment historical newspaper coverage 1917-19 Political cartoons Stripped! N.Y. Evening World c1917 Showing them up - see the Herald's enemy alien list I April 12, 1917 The Limit New York Herald March 3, 1918 The Breath of the Hun New York Herald March 28, 1918 Images Internment camp, Fort Douglas Street of internment camp, Fort Douglas Germans being … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Immigrant Soldiers

The United States is a nation of immigrants, many of whom have served the country in times of need. Below you will find links to news articles about immigrant soldiers, historical background resources, and related primary sources and teaching resources. How does studying sources from the past inform your understanding of the contemporary debate surrounding immigrants in the U.S. armed forces? Articles Immigrant Soldiers Win Pause Of Rules Blocking Citizenship Law360 October 30, 2017 … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Individual Influence

The article, In a Lost Essay, a Glimpse of an Elusive Poet and Slave (The New York Times Sept. 25, 2017), tells the intriguing story of the discovery of a primary source text by Jonathan Senchyne, an assistant professor of book history at the University of Wisconsin. The essay, "Individual Influence" by North Carolina slave and poet George Moses Horton, was found in a scrapbook documenting an 1856 University of North Carolina (UNC) controversy compiled by Henry Harrisse, a 19th-century historian … [Read more...]

Primary Source & Civic Learning

The Barat Education Foundation (BEF), a long time member of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program (TPS), began working with the Constitutional Rights Foundation (CRF) in 2016 to create multidisciplinary lessons that feature primary sources from the Library of Congress and infuse civic learning across the curriculum (stay tuned, coming soon). Primary source learning engages students through inquiry, provides them with access to different perspectives, helps them to … [Read more...]

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. 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...]