May 4, 2021

Primary Source Learning: Film & Video

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Video Recordings Teaching with the Library of Congress blog posts 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 December 17, 2015 Football Through Film and Other Primary Sources January 31, 2019 Inspiring Citizen Action with the National Screening Room … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: QFT with a Primary Source

First draft vs final drafts This is a guest post from Alyssa Park, a fourth-grade teacher at Scarselli Elementary School in Nevada. My main goals as a teacher are to make sure students leave my classroom bursting with curiosity and with greater self-confidence as learners. I also want them to know how to ask the right questions, how to decide on an action plan to get the information they need, and how to reflect on the work they’ve done. In my second year as a teacher, I learned about the … [Read more...]

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 of Congress 10 Ways to Enrich Your Classroom with Primary Sources – Part 1 10 Ways to Enrich Your Classroom with Primary … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Technology & Presidential Nominating Conventions

Political conventions have been part of the presidential nominating process for many years, but where conventions are held, who attends, and what happens at them has changed over time. First, analyze sources related to the Democratic Party's national conventions in 1928 and in 1960. What similarities do you see? What differences? In particular, look for evidence of differing technologies. How might changes in technology have affected the 1960 election? 1928 sources Official … [Read more...]