May 9, 2021

Teaching Now: Innovative Ideas to Teach Social Studies Skills

The April 5, 2021 #sschat—a moderated Twitter chat using the #sschat hashtag—was chock full of innovative ideas to teach social studies skills from educators across the country. Here is how the group defines itself on the #sschat website. #sschat is more than a hashtag, it’s an open group of dedicated network of educators and enthusiasts who aim to improve their personal, and our collective, teaching of social studies subject matter. We aim to help social studies teachers by helping to … [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...]

Timely Connections: Teaching About Presidential Impeachment

In the article, Teaching Impeachment in Politically Risky Times, Education Week discusses the issues teachers face in the current context and the importance of seizing this teachable moment. "For the nation’s government and civics teachers, it all comes down to this: The wheels of a rarely used, constitutionally prescribed process—impeachment—have been set in motion. And now those teachers are on the front lines of helping interpret it for the nation’s students. Whether teachers are prepared … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: 3D Pyramid

The 3D Pyramid created by Historica Canada helps students analyze primary sources in 5 steps. The 5Ws Context Exploring Reaching Conclusions Finding Proof Find out more about the five steps by visiting the 3D Pyramid tool page. Download the 3D Pyramid to use in your classroom. Thanks @ChristinaGanev for surfacing this great tool! … [Read more...]

Citizen U & Engaging Congress: Free Workshops in IL & TX

WHY These free in-person workshops will help civic-minded educators develop engaged citizens by: improving inquiry-based teaching using Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) methodology; reviewing the elementary through high school inquiry-based Citizen U interdisciplinary civics lessons interacting with the free civics app Engaging Congress; previewing the Library of Congress TPS Civics micro-credential pilot. WHO 6th–12th grade educators in all content … [Read more...]

Literature Links: Ruth and the Green Book

Elementary teacher librarian and former teacher in residence at the Library of Congress, Tom Bober (@CaptainLibrary), details a plan for pairing primary source analysis with the book, Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey, to help students make connections to history and geography. In his post on Knowledge Quest from the American Association of School Librarians, Tom also says the activities will help students to "look at the experiences of African Americans prior to the passage of … [Read more...]

Literature Links: Her Right Foot

Tom Bober (@CaptainLibrary), teacher librarian extraordinaire and former teacher in residence at the Library of Congress, put together a fantastic primary source set to accompany the picture book, Her Right Foot, by Dave Eggers. In a post on Knowledge Quest from the American Association of School Librarians, Tom details a plan for pairing primary source analysis with the book to help students explore how and why the the Statue of Liberty was built and to deepen their understanding of this … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Information Literacy & Inquiry

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...]

Learning from the Source: Geography & the Civil War

This is a guest post from Nicole Woulfe, a middle school social studies teacher from New Hampshire and a Citizen U pilot lesson implementer. Learn more about the creation, implementation and reflection of this lesson. Focus Question What role did geography play in the turning points of Vicksburg and Sherman’s March during the Civil War? Content goal Geography Grade 6 Competency: Students will demonstrate and apply knowledge of geography and geographic tools in the study of the … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Primary Sources Through Time

Looking for primary sources related to a particular time period in U.S. history? The Teaching with Library of Congress blog suggests using the American Memory Timeline,  an online presentation that provides a comprehensive look through U.S. history using primary sources from the Library’s collections. For teaching ideas, read the whole blog post. More resources are listed below. U.S. History by Time Period links to primary sources & more resources, colonial beginnings to the 21st … [Read more...]