September 14, 2020

Citizen U Bulletin: Volume 1, Issue 11



Volume 1, Issue 11


Citizen U

Weaving civics across grades and disciplines
Click the links to access, use and rate

New Lessons: Emerging America & KidCitizen


Ancient Rome’s Veterans with Disabilities: Roman Accounts and U.S. Veteran Comparisons
Students compare how two societies separated by centuries think about and act toward veterans who live with a disability.

FDR and the Alphabet Agencies
Students analyze Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s First Inaugural Address and compare the promises made to his later work as president, then apply what they learned to create a government agency that would deal with a contemporary issue.

The Fight for Women’s Rights
Students investigate the grievances listed in the Declaration of Sentiments presented at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, then research contemporary women in the news to assess the current state of women’s rights.

The Magna Carta: Due Process from King John to the 14th Amendment and Beyond
Students trace both the origins and results of the Magna Carta in the context of the U.S. Constitution and the 14th Amendment, then consider a contemporary case related to law enforcement robots.

Who Should Care for America’s Veterans?
In this lesson from Emerging America, students investigate the U.S. government’s role in the care of returning soldiers throughout history, then craft a proposal to the Veterans Affairs Department outlining how returning veterans today should be cared for that addresses medical care (both physical and mental health), job training/search, education, and housing.


Community Helpers
The importance of community helpers is a building block of civics understanding. Students investigate who community helpers are and how they have changed over time through primary source analysis, then match historical and contemporary images of community helpers. After, have students draw a picture of themselves as community helpers and/or a community helper in their community and share stories about those people.

Rosa Parks: A Proud Daughter
Students develop literacy skills as they analyze a greeting card to investigate families and the emotions they express and get introduced to civic activist and change maker Rosa Parks. The teacher’s guide includes ideas for making connections to historical inquiry through further investigations of greeting cards in the Library’s Rosa Parks Papers collection and applying what they learned by creating a card for a leader or relative who has done something unique or important for them.

Welcome to Congress
Students are introduced to Congress through primary source analysis and discover how a member of Congress is part of two communities- their home community that they serve, and the community of Congress. Ideas for further connection, such as finding and writing a letter to their congressional representative, can be found in the Teacher’s Guide.

RISE Micro-credential Program Webinar Series
Reflection, Inquiry, Self-awareness, and Empathy:
Strategies to Integrate Racial Equity in Teaching

Tuesdays in August from 3:30 to 4:30 pm CST

Webinar 1 Aug. 4: RISE – Reflection
Facilitators will support teachers in healing the unique trauma experienced during the time of COVID-19, remote teaching, and systemic racism. This webinar will also provide instructional strategies that engage students in discussing the emotional, economic, and educational impact of racism from a historical and a current perspective using inquiry and story. Using primary sources from the Library of Congress, participants will be guided in the use of the Primary Source Analysis tool alongside a new and innovative Reflection Tool as a resource to launch candid and respectful dialogue around racism.

Webinar 2 Aug. 11: RISE – Inquiry and Self-awareness
Self-awareness is the key to operationalizing racial equity in teaching and learning. Participants will use tools of self-awareness to examine beliefs about teaching and learning and use primary sources from the Library of Congress as an essential resource to engage in this process. Additionally, participants will learn the process of helping themselves and their students to investigate stories of racism in education through both historical inquiry and current context analysis. Using sample models that integrate Library of Congress resources and inquiry methods, participants will gain skill to have controversial discussions.

Webinar 3 Aug. 18: RISE – Empathy
Empathy is the key to racial equity in the school and everywhere. Participants will examine five practices of empathy to learn methods of operationalizing racial equity. Facilitators will model the integration of culturally relevant pedagogical practices as well as leadership practices that consider equity at the forefront. Participants will work with texts such as “How to be an Antiracist” by Kendi as well as documents from the Library of Congress to create a personal plan of action for their own professional and personal vision of racial equity.

TPS Civics Educator Micro-Credential Program

From the course discussions: “As a world history teacher, Citizen U can easily be implemented into the classroom. In the lessons section, there were two lessons in particular which displayed an seamless connection between the distant past and recent past. The two lessons were Ancient Roman soldiers compared to US soldiers experiences and the Magna Carta’s impact on the US Constitution. These lessons inspired me with the ways civics can be incorporated into ancient history. Citizen U also included lesson plans for other content areas. The other content area lessons allow for inquiry to hone critical thinking skills.
The Primary Source Nexus could be used for various grade levels and content areas. I like the options to be able to look up sources though themes. The collection of resources provide a wealth of information for classroom usage.”

Our American Voice

Action-based civics education program
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Scott Elementary
Mannheim School District 83


OAV students from Scott Elementary in Melrose Park put civics into action, committing to helping make a local park and their community cleaner and safer.

Solomon Elementary Chicago Public Schools


OAV students from Chicago Public Schools Solomon Elementary took part in many activities to recognize the origin and development of the core values that are the basis of our democracy, then worked to inform their peers and the community about the importance of participating in the 2020 U.S. Census.


Chicago 39th Ward Alderman Samantha Nugent congratulates OAV students from Solomon Elementary for their hard work and dedication to creating positive change.

Pershing Elementary
Berwyn South School District 100


OAV students from Berwyn South School District 100 Pershing School learned about active citizenship, gained confidence and new skills, and spearheaded the process for getting new playground equipment for the neighborhood park.
Watch their census video too!

Ella Flagg Young Elementary
Chicago Public Schools


Eighth-grade #OAV students from Chicago Public Schools Ella Flagg Young collected data and brought back a career fair to their school.

Oakwood Junior High
Oakwood CUSD 76


State Senator Scott M. Bennett, Illinois District 52, discusses the importance of civic engagement and thanks all the OAV students, and particularly those from Oakwood Junior High in his home community, for all that they are doing to build a better future.

Komensky Elementary
Berwyn South School District 100

On Our Radar

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Primary Source Nexus Facebook Primary Source Nexus Twitter Primary Source Nexus website


TPS Civics

Teaching with Primary Sources from the Library of Congress
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Using American Archive of Public Broadcasting Resources to Engage Students in Past & Present

Challenging Students to Consider
the Roles Books Played During Wartime

Hear You Hear Me – Race in America:
Joy Harjo and Tracy K. Smith


Rough Rider to Bull Moose: Letters to Theodore Roosevelt – NEW By the People Campaign

Veterans History Project:
First, Serve: Athletes in Uniform

Honoring African American Contributions in Medicine: The Black Angels

When a Former Enslaved Person Debated
a Former Confederate
in the House of Representatives

‘Yes, You Can’:
The Rose Witherspoon Spence Story

World War II: Voices of War

What, to the American Slave,
Is Your 4th of July?”

From the TPS Teachers Network
(must join / login to view / participate)

Primary Source Nexus

Teaching resource blog
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Recent Posts

Featured Content from the Archives

TPS Program

News, Opportunities, Resources

Voices for Suffrage Guided Tour: Diversity

KidCitizen Episode A Bird’s Eye View: Wondering with Maps

Difficult History Project: Teaching with Primary Sources
Developed by the University of Maryland | Access

Find a Member of Congress by Address on
In Custodia Legis blog post | Read

Full Author Lineup for Virtual 2020 Nation Book Festival

Can I Copyright This?
Library of Congress Blog post | Read

COVID-19 Artworks: Toni Lane’s Pandemic Drawings
Picture This blog post | Read

George S. Patton Papers: Diaries, 1910 to 1945

LibGuides highlight the Music Division’s Jazz collections
In the Muse blog post | Read

2021 National History Day Theme Book and Video launched
Communication in History: The Key to Understanding | Access

Online Professional Development

2020 Summer Webinars
Library of Congress
Wednesdays 2:00-3:00pm EST through August 5
Free, certificate for 1 hour of professional development available for live webinar participants
Information & Recordings

Aug. 5: Foundations: Information Literacy and Primary Sources

Equity Summit
National Council for History Education
August 4 to 6, 2020

Teaching with Primary Sources Asynchronous Professional Development
TPS Western Region
Choose from woman suffrage, transcontinental railroad, or leaders in STEAM
August 5 to September 30, 2020

Black Communities and Agency: Fighting Jim Crow and Institutional Racism
Collaborative for Educational Services
Sept. 29 – Dec. 13
Fee – 67.5 PDPs + optional graduate credits available for additional fee
Information & Registration

Accessing Inquiry for English Learners Through Primary Sources
Collaborative for Educational Services
Oct. 19 – Dec. 5
Fee – 22.5 PDPs + 1 graduate credit
Information & registration

From Reform to Equal Rights: Teaching Disability History in the K-12 Classroom
Collaborative for Educational Services
Oct. 27 – Dec. 7
Fee – 22.5 PDPs + 1 graduate credit
Information & registration

From the TPS Teachers Network
(must join / login to view / participate)

Library Blog Round-Up

Recent favorites
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Minerva’s Kaleidoscope:
Just for Kids and Families

Jason Reynolds: Writing Challenges

Great videos laying out fun writing activities.

Free Puzzles through Chronicling America:
Maze Edition

Music in Time of Pestilence, Part Two

Homegrown Plus: Nakotah LaRance, 1989-2020

The Abdication of a Queen

A Look Inside Creative Spaces and Studios

Trials of the Century: 19th Century Edition

Sousa and the Talking Machine

From the Pros in the Field

Teaching & Learning with Primary Sources
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Primary Source Nexus Facebook Primary Source Nexus Twitter Primary Source Nexus website


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