January 14, 2022

Teaching Now: Separating Myths from History

This unit plan and teaching guide was developed by Dr. John Bickford, Professor of 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 adults!—will be shocked to learn most of their Thanksgiving facts are fables, not history. This short section details the stuff many folks … [Read more...]

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 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 set is also available as a Google document; get it here. Access the teaching guide for this source set. Source 1 Pre-reading: … [Read more...]

TPS Spotlight: Collaborative for Educational Services

Since 2010, the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program, Emerging America, at the Collaborative for Educational Services has offered free and low cost workshops and support to K-12 teachers throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and nationally via online courses on a variety of topics, including Disability History. Participants learn to work with and practice strategies for using Library of Congress online resources to engage students, teach inquiry through the use … [Read more...]

Today in History: Plymouth Colony

Today in History–October 4–the Library of Congress features Plymouth Colony. On October 4, 1636, the General Court of Plymouth Colony instituted a legal code that guaranteed citizens a trial by jury and laws made with the consent of freemen. Discover more by reviewing the Today in History section, then click the links below to access stories and primary sources. The Murder of Penowanyanquis and the Trial of Arthur Peach, Plymouth, 1638 Plymouth Colony images The Book of the General Laws … [Read more...]

Today in History: Halifax Explosion

Today in History–December 6–TPS-Barat features the Halifax explosion, which occurred on this day in 1917. The largest man-made explosion in history, killed nearly 2,000, injured around 9,000, and left approximately 6,000 people homeless. It's a story of local devastation but also of multinational cooperation. Click the primary sources and other resources below to learn more. Halifax explosion image set Report on the explosion 7th December, 1917 Canadian War Museum Report of the Halifax … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Dorothea Dix

Dorothea L. Dix (1802-1887) was an actively engaged citizen who tirelessly advocated for help for the less fortunate, particularly the mentally ill. Use the resources below to learn more. Dorothea Lynde Dix portrait Dorothea Lynde Dix to Abraham Lincoln, Monday, June 17, 1861 (transcription) To the Legislature of Massachusetts [protesting against the confinement of insane persons and idiots in almshouses and prisons] Dorothea Dix 1843 Memorial soliciting a state hospital for the … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Wampanoag

The Wampanoag the tribe in Massachusetts is famous for having helped the people we call Pilgrims when they first came to America. Learn more by clicking through to the links below. Images Wampanoag image set Massasoit and his warriors Massasoit--On his way to meet the Pilgrims and sign the Peace Treaty Goffe rallying the men of Hadley [in defense of Indian attack during King Philip's War, Hadley, Mass., 1675-76] Historical newspaper coverage Massasoit … [Read more...]

Literature Links: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

Theodor Geisel—a.k.a. Dr. Seuss—was born in 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was the first of many children's books that he wrote and illustrated. Geisel supposedly received 27 rejections before the book was published by Vanguard Press in 1937 thanks, as the story goes, to a chance run-in with and old friend from Darthmouth College. After reading the book, engage your students with some of the following primary source activities. Have your … [Read more...]

Today in History: Henry Cabot Lodge

Today in History–May 12–the Library of Congress features politician and historian Henry Cabot Lodge, born on this day in 1850. Lodge was a long-standing member of Congress, serving the state of Massachusetts as a U.S. representative from 1887 to 1893 and a U.S. senator from 1893 to 1924. This Republican statesman is perhaps best known for his staunch argument against U.S. participation in the League of Nations proposed by President Woodrow Wilson. Find out more about this fiery orator by … [Read more...]