March 21, 2019

Learning from the Source: Abraham Lincoln & Me Activity Book

Students are active learners when they are engaged in real activities. The Abraham Lincoln & Me Primary Source Activity Book enables students to become familiar with primary sources and learn about Abraham Lincoln and his accomplishments while fostering a personal connection to this U.S. president. The activity book is available in English and Spanish with accompanying audio files in each language. Numerous extension activity ideas provide teachers with options for extending … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Perspectives on U.S. Expansion

At the turn of the 20th century Admiral George Dewey, Pacific naval commander, became a veritable American hero for his role in the Spanish-American war. While United States foreign policy was focused on global expansion, not everyone believed it was a good idea. The Philippines, certainly, were not keen on U.S. imperialism and continued to fight for control of the country until 1902 (Spain "awarded" the Philippines to the United States for $20 million under the 1898 Treaty of Paris). Use the … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Gettysburg Address Image Sequencing

The Union victory over Confederate forces at the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863) is considered a major turning point in the Civil War. But it was also the costliest in terms of human lives—more than 51,000, nearly one-third of all forces engaged, were killed, reported missing, or wounded.[1] Soon after, a project to build a cemetery for the Union dead began. Two men spoke at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery on November 19, 1863. Edward Everett, a well-known orator, … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: American Memory & Me Birthday Project

Overview Students naturally look for connections between themselves and what they are learning. This project connects students to historical events that happened on their birthdays, helping them to recognize that each person is part of and contributes to the ongoing American memory. To complete this project, students will . . . discover different types of primary sources. learn how primary sources inform us about events and people of particular time periods. understand that they are … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: The Star Spangled Banner K-2

Overview The flag is one of the United States’ most important symbols and the central character of the country’s national anthem. This project introduces students to the key historical events that led to the creation of this patriotic song, helping them to learn the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner and expand their overall understanding of U.S. history and their personal connections to this country. To complete this project, students will . . . learn about key historical events that … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: The Star Spangled Banner 3-5

Overview The flag is one of the United States’ most important symbols and the central character of the country’s national anthem. This project introduces students to key historical events that led to the creation of this patriotic song, helping them to learn the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner, and expands their overall understanding of U.S. history and their personal connections to this country. To complete this project, students will . . . learn about key historical events that led … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Capturing Character on Camera

The Today in History section for July 10 features Jelly Roll Morton, one of jazz music's primary influences. From 1938 to 1948, William P. Gottlieb took over 1600 photographs of celebrated jazz artists. Carl Van Vechten also took a similar number of photographs of celebrities, including many figures from the Harlem Renaissance. The Library has two great resources for learning about the art of photography and how photographers capture and present a music performer's character on camera, which we … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Where Do I Run to? Where Do I Hide?

The Library of Congress Digital Connections are filled with great ideas for primary source learning. Below we highlight an activity from the Civil War Maps Collection Connection. Historical Analysis and Interpretation In many cases the battles of the Civil War were fought by men unfamiliar with the area of the country in which they were fighting. Have students [look at other Battle of Gettysburg maps]. They can then assume the role of a soldier who has never encountered this part of the … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Indian Territory Resettlement

In his article, "Thinking Like an Historian", from the TPS Quarterly archive (now the TPS Journal), Sam Wineburg points out how many students' view of history—memorization—diverges from that of historians—investigation—and offers advice for using primary sources to engage students in the "historical approach". Doing so will help students make more authentic and lasting connections to important historical themes and events as well as give them practice in key Common Core State Standards in … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Mourning Lincoln & the Art of Tribute

From the Library of Congress bicentennial exhibition—With Malice Toward None—we learn a bit about the profound effect Abraham Lincoln's death had on people all over the world. The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln on Good Friday, April 14, 1865, had a tremendous impact both in the United States and abroad. People in Great Britain, which had favored the South, mourned as if Lincoln had been their leader. France, whose citizens had made no secret of their sympathy for the Union, paid … [Read more...]