Teaching Now: Separating Myths from History

Teaching Now: Separating Myths from History

This unit plan and teaching guide was developed by Dr. John Bickford, Professor of Social Studies/History Education at Eastern Illinois University and Editor-in-Chief of The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Studies, in collaboration with Citizen U. It presents a lesson plan with teaching notes targeted to early and upper elementary students. TEACHER BACKGROUND Children—and…

Primary Source Learning: The Wampanoag, the Plimoth Colonists & the First Thanksgiving

Primary Source Learning: The Wampanoag, the Plimoth Colonists & the First Thanksgiving

This primary source set is targeted to elementary students and includes background information and thinking prompts. It was curated mainly by Dr. John Bickford, Professor of Social Studies/History Education at Eastern Illinois University and Editor-in-Chief of The Councilor: A Journal of the Social Studies, with the goal of helping students separate Thanksgiving myths from history. This…

Timely Connections: Constitutional Rights of Students

Timely Connections: Constitutional Rights of Students

Every year the United States celebrates Constitution Day on September 17. How much do you know about U.S. constitutional rights? Did you know that those rights are different in the context of public schools? School officials have significant leeway when instituting and enforcing rules to maintain a safe environment conducive to learning but, over the…

Primary Source Learning: Asian American Pacific Islanders

Primary Source Learning: Asian American Pacific Islanders

Primary Source Sets with Teacher Guides Japanese American Internment During World War II Veterans’ Stories: Struggles for Participation Guided Primary Source Analyses Chinese Citizenship in Hawaii Entrance to Manzanar Collection Connections After the Day of Infamy: “Man-on-the-Street” Interviews Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor Ansel Adams’s Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar Lesson Plans Analysis…

Primary Source Learning: Film & Video

Primary Source Learning: Film & Video

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Video Recordings Teaching with the Library blog posts Adding Sound to the Silence: Students Build on Silent Films March 16, 2023 All-American News: Newsreels for African American Audiences February 7, 2019 Explore Library of Congress Professional Development Videos April 11, 2017 Exploring America’s Cinematic Heritage through the National Film Registry…

Learning from the Source: Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Learning from the Source: Do Good Fences Make Good Neighbors?

Overview By pairing primary sources with poetry, students consider the proverb, “Good fences make good neighbors” in the context of their own lives as well as in a local, national or global context. Lesson Steps Display the primary source image and analyze it together as a class using the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis…

Teaching Now: Innovative Ideas to Teach Social Studies Skills

Teaching Now: Innovative Ideas to Teach Social Studies Skills

The April 5, 2021 #sschat—a moderated Twitter chat using the #sschat hashtag—was chock full of innovative ideas to teach social studies skills from educators across the country. Here is how the group defines itself on the #sschat website. #sschat is more than a hashtag, it’s an open group of dedicated network of educators and enthusiasts…

Analyzing Primary Sources: Strategies & Activities

Analyzing Primary Sources: Strategies & Activities

When first starting out teaching with primary sources, we recommend trying out the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis Tool (see Analyzing Primary Sources: Tools & Guides). Below, we have compiled a rich list of primary source analysis strategies and activities developed by the Library, TPS Consortium partners, and teacher pros in the field. Library…

Analyzing Primary Sources: Tools & Guides

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…