November 26, 2015

Learning from the Source: Primary Source Trail of Western Emigration

Map of an exploring expedition to the Rocky Mountains in the year 1842 and to Oregon & north California in the years 1843-44

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...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Close Observation & Purposeful Questions

Contrast between eroded and tree covered areas, Wisconsin

The Teaching with the Library of Congress blog provides several ideas for inspring close observation and engaging students with primary sources, including having students make personal connections to an item, look for clues to time period and authorship, look for details that provide evidence of their thinking, and ask purposeful questions. Close observation of images is great practice for close reading of text, a strategy emphasized in the Common Core State Standards, in particular CCSS reading … [Read more...]