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Bringing Congress to the Classroom with a new Educational Resources Page

This is a guest post by Laura Read Lee, a Junior Fellow in the Digital Resources Division of the Law Library of Congress. In this post, Laura describes the new page that she designed, “Bringing Congress to the Classroom.”

The Digital Resources Division of the Law Library of Congress has recently launched a new webpage for educational resources. The purpose of the page is to provide resources that will assist with teaching students about the United States government and legal system.

The Bringing Congress to the Classroom index page.

The Bringing Congress to the Classroom index page.

The project was a ten-week process which involved compiling a variety of resources and building the new website. In order to better arrange the large quantity of resources about Congress, the U.S. government system, and more, the homepage of the new site features four broad category headings with options beneath.

The headings on the page allow teachers to quickly access information and resources to use both inside and outside their classrooms. Under “Explore U.S. Founding Documents,” educators can digitally show students original documents from American history or use documents like the Constitution Annotated to aid student understanding of the United States Constitution. The “Schedule a Class Trip” category provides direct links to tour information about the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives, as well as corresponding student activities, virtual tours, and more. The “Educational Resources for Teachers” category provides several sources of professional development as well as teaching strategies and techniques. These professional development sources focus particularly on teaching with primary sources and teaching about the United States government.

The Bringing Congress to the Classroom Grades K-12 resources page.

The Bringing Congress to the Classroom grades K-12 resources page.

Under “Educational Resources for the Classroom,” teachers can select the “Grades K-12″  landing page that offers a variety of primary source tools, links, and documents to engage students in learning about Congress and the United States government.

Under the “Lesson Plans” category, teachers can find detailed guides, ideas, and corresponding activities for teaching lessons on a variety of subjects. The “Blogs & Essays” group features blog posts that are helpful for engaging students in class and essays that can be used by both teachers and students. “LoC Primary Sources” is a group of resources from the Educational Outreach Division of the Library of Congress. These tools give students a powerful sense of history and the complexity of the past and can also guide them toward better critical thinking and analysis skills. The “Presentations & Activities” heading features special student activities and presentations to help involve students in what they are learning. “Educational Videos” includes links to informative videos that explain some of the more challenging topics about Congress and the U.S. government. Under “Digital Resources,” teachers will find links to special online exhibits, glossaries, and interactive tools. The “Featured Resources” category presents different resources that are appropriate for each grade group including, blog posts, online exhibits, and “How To” guides.

We invite you to explore the updated page for educational resources and utilize the tools offered to enhance education about the United States government. It is our hope that all who previously used this page will continue to do so, and that the updated layout and ease of use will attract new visitors. We also hope that all users find the wealth of resources to be informative, engaging, and practical and that through these sources, we can assist teachers in bringing the history of Congress and our government to life.

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