Learning from the Source: Science Radium Romp

The Teaching with the Library of Congress blog highlighted the Radium Dance song sheet cover and gave some great science-related teaching ideas for using the Chronicling America historical newspaper collection to make historical connections to the Curie discovery of radium and early popular uses for this chemical element.

Another idea would be to have students work in groups to see what they can learn and what questions can they generate from a selection of sources from this radium-related primary source set. At the end of student investigations, consider having them put their learning to music and motion using the following song: Radium Dance 1904. Learn more about this song and the musical, Piff, Paff, Pouf, and radium dances in general by clicking the links below.

Get further ideas from Trey Smith, 2015-16 Science Teacher in Residence at the Library of Congress, who walks through a cross-curricular lesson in this Teaching with the Library blog post: Asking Science and Social Studies Questions about “Radium Girls”. You might also want to read this Headlines & Heroes blog post, Radium Girls: Living Dead Women.