October 24, 2017

Teaching Now: Analyzing Primary Sources for Scientific Thinking & Organization

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...]

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...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Sensory Exploration

The sensory exploration graphic organizer is a great way to introduce students, especially younger ones, to primary source analysis. It also helps with vocabulary development. Encourage students to write words in each column for each sense. After, you may have students create a poem of their choice using the words they brainstormed; they may choose to write the poem from the point of view of someone outside the image or from a person, animal, or thing inside the image. If students drew images, … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Journalistic Analysis

Your assignment is to prepare to write an article to accompany the image you were given. Take time to carefully study the image details. Then brainstorm a list of questions you would need answered in order to write the article about this image. Be deliberate and creative about the point of view from which you would choose to write the article. Journalistic Analysis printout (.pdf) CCSS writing standards 8, 9, 10 … [Read more...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Grade 5 Writing Prompts & Activities

Primary source images are great resources for integrating language arts with social studies into activities that meet Common Core State Standards for writing. The grade 5 writing prompts and activity ideas below build on the K-4 writing prompts and activities. Text Types and Purposes CCSS Grade 5 Writing Standards Writing Prompts / Activity Ideas 1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. a. Introduce a topic or … [Read more...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Grade 4 Writing Prompts & Activities

Primary source images are great resources for integrating language arts with social studies into activities that meet Common Core State Standards for writing. The Grade 4 writing prompts and activity ideas below build on the K-3 writing prompts and activities. Text Types and Purposes Grade 4 Writing Standards Writing Prompts / Activity Ideas 1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. a. Introduce a topic or text … [Read more...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Grade 3 Writing Prompts & Activities

Primary source images are great resources for integrating language arts with social studies into activities that meet Common Core State Standards. The Grade 3 writing prompts and activity ideas below build on the K-2 writing prompts and activities. Text Types and Purposes Grade 3 Writing Standards Writing Prompts / Activity Ideas 1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons. a. Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state … [Read more...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Grade 2 Writing Prompts & Activities

Primary source images, including maps, are great resources for integrating language arts with social studies into activities that meet Common Core State Standards. The Grade 2 writing prompts and activity ideas below build on the K-1 writing prompts and activities. Text Types and Purposes Grade 2 Writing Standards Writing Prompts / Activity Ideas 1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Zooming into Documentary Photography

Zoom into the picture above and you will see a face recognizable to many. The mother in the photo is Florence Thompson, most famously known as the migrant mother. This photograph was one in a series taken in 1936 by Resettlement Administration photographer Dorothea Lange. In this primary source activity, students will examine photographs individually and as a set. They will then analyze a variety of primary sources and texts to use as evidence in an essay that defines documentary photography, … [Read more...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Grade 1 Writing Prompts & Activities

Primary source images, including maps, are great resources for integrating language arts with social studies into activities that meet Common Core State Standards. The Grade 1 writing prompts and activity ideas below build on the kindergarten writing prompts and activities. Text Types and Purposes Grade 1 Writing Standards Writing Prompts / Activity Ideas 1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or name the book they are writing about, state an opinion, … [Read more...]