October 20, 2020

NHD 2021: Topic Selection, Research, Sources & More

The graphic above from the Chicago Metro History Fair (CMHF) is a great encapsulation of how to choose a topic for a history fair project. In addition, ask yourself the questions listed below. Does the topic relate to the 2021 National History Day (NHD) theme Communication in History: The Key to Understanding? Does the topic relate to local or state history? Does the topic really interest you? Do you have a personal connection to the topic? (It’s not necessary but it can be a good … [Read more...]

2019 Library of Congress National Book Festival

The 19th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019. The event is free and open to the public. If you can't make, don't worry, as recordings of author presentations will be available at a later date. More than 140 authors, illustrators, and poets will make presentations dedicated to kids, fiction, history, biography, poetry, science, and more. Fascinating thematic programs … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Analyzing Primary Sources for Scientific Thinking & Organization

This is a guest post from Tom Bober (a.k.a. @CaptainLibrary), an elementary librarian at RM Captain Elementary in Clayton, Missouri and frequent contributor to the TPS Teachers Network. Earlier this school year I wrote about an activity in which third grade students analyzed primary sources from the Library of Congress, specifically the notes, diagrams, and writings of scientists to explore how scientists organize information. The hope was that students would connect these organizational … [Read more...]

Literature Links: My Daniel – Hunting dinosaurs in Nebraska

Below you will find numerous primary source activity ideas to use in conjunction with the novel My Daniel by Pam Conrad. Let us know which ones work for you. Publisher overview "All I want to find is one dinosaur," Daniel was saying. "And I'll find it right here. Like I do all my fossils." Wandering through the Natural History Museum with her grandchildren, Julia Creath feels the presence of her dead brother, Daniel, she remembers a time when fossil fever hit everyone, old and young -- a … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Sensory Exploration

The sensory exploration graphic organizer is a great way to introduce students, especially younger ones, to primary source analysis. It also helps with vocabulary development. Encourage students to write words in each column for each sense or allow them to draw pictures. After, you may have students create a poem of their choice using the words they brainstormed; they may choose to write the poem from the point of view of someone outside the image or from a person, animal, or thing inside the … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Journalistic Analysis

Your assignment is to prepare to write an article to accompany the image you were given. Take time to carefully study the image details. Then brainstorm a list of questions you would need answered in order to write the article about this image. Be deliberate and creative about the point of view from which you would choose to write the article. Journalistic Analysis printout (.pdf) CCSS writing standards 8, 9, 10 … [Read more...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Grade 5 Writing Prompts & Activities

Primary source images are great resources for integrating language arts with social studies into activities that meet Common Core State Standards for writing. The grade 5 writing prompts and activity ideas below build on the K-4 writing prompts and activities. Text Types and Purposes CCSS Grade 5 Writing Standards Writing Prompts / Activity Ideas 1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. a. Introduce a topic or … [Read more...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Grade 4 Writing Prompts & Activities

Primary source images are great resources for integrating language arts with social studies into activities that meet Common Core State Standards for writing. The Grade 4 writing prompts and activity ideas below build on the K-3 writing prompts and activities. Text Types and Purposes Grade 4 Writing Standards Writing Prompts / Activity Ideas 1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information. a. Introduce a topic or text … [Read more...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Grade 3 Writing Prompts & Activities

Primary source images are great resources for integrating language arts with social studies into activities that meet Common Core State Standards. The Grade 3 writing prompts and activity ideas below build on the K-2 writing prompts and activities. Text Types and Purposes Grade 3 Writing Standards Writing Prompts / Activity Ideas 1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons. a. Introduce the topic or text they are writing about, state … [Read more...]

Connecting to the Common Core: Grade 2 Writing Prompts & Activities

Primary source images, including maps, are great resources for integrating language arts with social studies into activities that meet Common Core State Standards. The Grade 2 writing prompts and activity ideas below build on the K-1 writing prompts and activities. Text Types and Purposes Grade 2 Writing Standards Writing Prompts / Activity Ideas 1. Write opinion pieces in which they introduce the topic or book they are writing about, state an opinion, supply reasons that … [Read more...]