February 28, 2021

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...]

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...]

RISE Micro-credential Program Webinars

Reflection, Inquiry, Self-awareness, and Empathy: Strategies to Integrate Racial Equity in Teaching Educators have been launched into uncertainty and unpredictable changes in teaching and learning. Navigating the emerging world of school calls for new levels of support for teachers. Citizen U, a program of the Barat Education Foundation, and DePaul University’s Office of Innovative Professional Learning with support from the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program, are … [Read more...]

C.A.R.E. Listening & Learning for Educators

In times of darkness, teachers always rise up. But now, this time comes on top of a pandemic and as teachers are exhausted and empty. The topics are big – social justice, institutional racism, and nonviolent and violent protest. The events of the past days have made these issues impossible to ignore, in much the same way that the limits of online learning have thrust systemic educational inequity to the forefront. Now more the ever, teachers again are called to be the ones who can transform … [Read more...]