April 24, 2018

TPS Spotlight: Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program

The mission of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program is to: build awareness of the Library’s educational initiatives; provide content that promotes the effective educational use of the Library’s resources; and offer access to and promote sustained use of the Library’s educational resources. The Library achieves this mission through collaborations between the Library and the K‐12 educational community across the United States. The program contributes to the … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: We Shall Overcome

Students will analyze historical and contemporary primary sources to examine how citizens persevered to overcome injustice and affect change during the 1960s civil rights era and consider the lessons the first March to Selma in 1965 provides for us today. Enduring understanding: Time, place, and culture influence our perspectives on people and issues. Essential question: How can we strive to overcome injustice? Lesson materials We Shall Overcome sheet music (curator note) … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: Frederick Douglass & Scientific Racism

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Eric Herschthal, a fellow at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, suggests that we remember Frederick Douglass "as someone whose insights about scientific theories of race are every bit as relevant in our era as they were when he wrote them." Take a look at the examples Herschthal provides about Douglass'  efforts to challenge scientific racism, including ethnology or, as it was sometimes referred to, "the … [Read more...]

Timely Connections: James Madison & Slavery

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, Noah Feldman, a Harvard law professor and the author of the book The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President, discusses the dichotomies between Madison's moral views of slavery and his actions. Delving into the past, he contends, can provide us with lessons in racism for today. The tension between Madison’s aspirational beliefs and his highly constrained actions continues to be America’s own tension. Like Madison, contemporary United … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Using Primary Sources to Create a Lincoln Assassination Newscast

This is a guest post from Tim Anderson, a middle school English teacher and Google Certified Educator at Sulphur Springs Elementary School in Jonesborough, Tennessee. There often seems to be a disconnect between students and historical events. Connecting literature to history helps make it come alive for students. Since my eighth graders are studying the Civil War, I chose to have them read Chasing Lincoln’s Killer, a fast-paced thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth pieced … [Read more...]

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...]

Literature Links: National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Library of Congress News The Library of Congress, the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader today announced the appointment of Jacqueline Woodson, four-time Newbery Honor Medalist, Coretta Scott King Book Award winner and former Young People’s Poet Laureate for her memoir-in-verse “Brown Girl Dreaming,” as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. The program was established by the three organizations in 2008 to emphasize the importance of young people’s literature as it … [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...]

NHD 2018: Selecting a Topic for a History Project

The graphic above from the Chicago Metro History Fair (CMHF) is a great encapsulation of how to choose a topic for a history fair project. In addition, ask yourself the questions listed below. Does the topic relate to the 2018 National History Day (NHD) theme: Conflict & Compromise in History? For Illinois students, does the topic relate to local or Illinois state history? Does the topic really interest you? Do you have a personal connection to the topic? (It’s not necessary … [Read more...]