December 4, 2020

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...]

Primary Source Learning: Being American Primary Source Sets

This curated collection of primary sources was created to help students think critically about what it means to be an American by exploring and analyzing different perspectives and voices, particularly marginalized ones, over time. Thanks to the inspiration of Jen Reidel, 2019-2020 Library of Congress Civics Teacher in Residence, who suggested this theme. Executive proclamations Reprint of President Roosevelt's "I Am an American Day proclamation May 3, 1940 Reprint of Arizona Governor … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Community Helpers Then & Now Primary Source Set

Click the images to access them and print or add to a digital folder or platform. Have students match the primary source images of community helpers from long ago and now. Then have students draw a picture of themselves as community helpers and/or a community helper in their neighborhood and share stories about those people. Related resources Community Helpers interactive lesson KidCitizen Analyzing Primary … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Music

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Music Guided primary source analysis activities The Banks of the Yellow Sea Leonard Bernstein illustrated letter Election Day L’Africana – L’Africaine Opera Learning from the Source lesson plans Capturing Character on Camera Mourning Lincoln & the Art of Tribute The Negro Speaks of Rivers Science Radium Romp The Star Spangled Banner K-2 The Star Spangled Banner 3-5 We Shall Overcome Library of Congress … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Civil Rights

Citizen U multidisciplinary civics lessons Civil Rights and Civic Action Dolores Huerta Building Coalitions to Affect Change Collaborating to Affect Change Inspiring Civic Responsibility Selma & Voting Rights: Standing Up for Equality Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer More lessons  Baseball, Race Relations and Jackie Robinson Baseball, Race and Ethnicity: Rounding the Bases I Have a Dream Image … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: U.S. National Anthem & American Flag

Help students learn about the history and contemporary contexts of the U.S. national anthem and the American flag. Teaching resources The Star Spangled Banner (K-2) The Star Spangled Banner (grades 3-5) Stars, Stripes and Symbols of America: Comparing Our Flag, Past and Present (grades 1-2) Pledge of Allegiance Image Sequencing (grades 3-5) Direct students do some background research on the U.S. flag and the U.S. National anthem. Then instruct them to read at least one of … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: U.S. Constitution

Constitution Annotated analysis & interpretation of the U.S. Constitution Primary source lesson plans & activities American Memory Timeline: Primary Source Excerpts and Discussion Questions Related to the Constitution The Constitution: Counter Revolution or National Salvation? The Constitution: Drafting a More Perfect Union Encouraging Student Understanding of Negotiation and the Value of Notetaking during the 1787 Constitutional Convention Teaching with the Library of … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Developing Information Literacy Skills

The Library of Congress has long realized that teaching with primary sources engages students and promotes critical thinking skills and helps them to construct knowledge. With a shift from a primary focus on content knowledge to the process of interacting with and comprehending, analyzing, and evaluating content, we can help forge deeper content knowledge while also emphasizing enduring understandings and reinforcing cross-discipline connections. Learning with primary sources helps students … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: African American History & Culture

Primary Source sets with teacher guides Baseball: Across a Divided Society Harlem Renaissance Jim Crow in America The NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom Featured Source guided primary source analysis activities Afro-American Monument An airship with a “Jim Crow” trailer The Brownies’ Book Condition of the descendants of former African slaves The constitutional amendment Jesse Owens President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union Address Tree of … [Read more...]