This is a guest post by Stephen Wesson of the Education Outreach Program.
As educators return to the nation’s classrooms and school libraries, we are delighted to launch another year of teaching ideas and discovery at loc.gov/teachers and Teaching with the Library of Congress! The Library’s K–12 education program supports teachers and school librarians in the effective use of the Library’s resources, and we hope educators will find it a source of inspiration in their work.
All our resources focus on the educational power of primary sources. Primary sources are the raw materials of history—materials that were created by participants in or witnesses to historical events. By supporting students as they analyze these sources, teachers can help them engage with difficult topics, build their critical thinking skills and create new knowledge.
The Library’s vast online collections offer students countless primary sources for exploration, from around the world and across thousands of years of human history, and we present free resources to support this exploration at our portal for educators.
Our online teaching tools make it easy for teachers to find the primary sources they need and to put them to use in their classrooms quickly and effectively. They support teachers at all grade levels and across the curriculum, from English and language arts to history and social studies, from science to music to art, and can be searched by state and national content standards. Recently, we’ve published a series of blog posts focusing on teaching with multimedia resources and on using primary sources in science classrooms and in the primary grades.
We’re always working to create more resources and find new ways to support educators. This year, we plan to share new resources on the Civil War, informational literacy and world history, as well as provide a platform for the Library’s latest Teacher in Residence and showcase exciting new online collections and new initiatives from the Library.
Here are some blog posts with activities teachers can use right away!
- Learn more about ways to incorporate the Library’s primary source analysis tool into classroom activities.
- Find effective ways to use informational texts.
Remember that you can use the “Search this blog” box for keyword searches of our past posts. We have several years’ worth of posts archived, so there’s a good chance we’ll have published something of interest to any educator.
You can also find resources for teachers on the Library’s YouTube channel and through our Twitter account for teachers, @TeachingLC.
We’d love to hear your ideas as well—please share your thoughts with us in the comments section of this post. We wish you and your students a rewarding year, and we hope to hear from you soon.