February 26, 2021

Analyzing Primary Sources: Tools & Guides

Primary sources, as described by the Library of Congress, "are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects that were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts that retell, analyze, or interpret events, usually at a distance of time or place. Bringing young people into close contact with these unique, often profoundly personal documents and objects can give them a sense of what it was like to be alive during a long-past era. Helping … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Inaugural Poems & Poets

Poetry has a long history of addressing and illuminating public issues and events but a disjointed and relatively short history of inclusion in presidential inauguration ceremonies. These moments, however, provide additional nuance to the state of the country during these important transitional moments in our nation. Use the links below to read and listen to the inaugural poems; to analyze, compare and contrast the insightful and verses; and to learn more about the poets who penned and performed … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: U.S. Electoral College

Background & context The Electoral College – What Is It and How Does It Function? In Custodia Legis November 6, 2012 Electoral College Fast Facts US House of Representatives History, Art & Archives The Electoral College National Archives The Electoral College National Conference of State Legislators Research Guide: The Law of the Electoral College Contemporary articles Congress and the Case of the Faithless Elector History November 17, 2020, US House of … [Read more...]

Literature Links: The Great Gatsby & Primary Sources from the Roaring Twenties

This three-part lesson from the Library of Congress* provides students with insight into the historical context of the 1920s and helps them recognize how popular culture reflects the values, mores, and events of the time period as they synthesize fictional events and primary sources. In a culminating project, students create a newspaper containing multiple types of content using both historical resources and content from the The Great Gatsby. Lesson resources Part I: Using Primary … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: LOC.gov Teacher-Created Lesson Plans

The Teacher's section on LOC.gov features close to 100 teacher-created lesson plans. As you can see from the image above, lesson plans are listed in alphabetical order and there is a handy search bar to help you easily conduct a keyword search. Use the links below to jump to select groupings of the LOC.gov lesson plans and related PSN teaching resources. All lesson plans Lesson plans by grade level Elementary: Grades 3-5 Middle School: Grades 6-8 High school: Grades … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: What Are Primary Sources?

This definition from the Library of Congress provides a basic answer to the question above. “'Primary sources' are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience." To learn more, take a look at the videos below from the Library and the Minnesota Historical Society, a TPS Consortium partner. Then, dig deeper … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Hispanic Points of View

Lessons The Huexotzinco Codex Drake’s West Indian Voyage 1588-1589 Cesar Chavez & Good Citizenship Dolores Huerta Collaborating to Affect Change (elementary) Building Coalitions to Affect Change (middle school) Inspiring Civic Responsibility (high school) Media & Migrant Laborers Perspectives Guided Primary Source Analyses Bank note explorer vignettes Community & Teamwork Houston, Santa Anna, and Cos Los sueños de las posadas El … [Read more...]

Literature Links: 2020 National Book Festival

Overview The 2020 National Book Festival ran from September 25-27 and featured a combination of prerecorded and interactive live Q&A programs with more than 120 authors, poets and illustrators. For a complete line-up of authors and their video presentations, please see the full video on demand list. Highlights from Children’s and Teen Stages at Virtual National Book Festival 2020 Minerva’s Kaleidoscope blog October 2, 2020 Democracy in the 21st Century Democracies around the world are … [Read more...]

NHD 2021: Topic Selection, Research, Sources & More

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 2021 National History Day (NHD) theme Communication in History: The Key to Understanding? Does the topic relate to local or state history? Does the topic really interest you? Do you have a personal connection to the topic? (It’s not necessary but it can be a good … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Examining Social Justice Through Historical, Classic and Contemporary Sources

This is a guest post from Kasey Short, an eighth-grade English teacher at Charlotte Country Day school in North Carolina.  When I moved from 6th to 8th grade last year, one thing I thought about a lot was how I would approach teaching To Kill a Mockingbird. I knew that I wanted to provide historical context as well as the perspective of recent cases in which people of color have been unjustly found guilty. I also wanted to showcase the voices of people who had been wrongly accused and the … [Read more...]