The United States has had a number of remarkable leaders. Three early presidents are notable for their contributions: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln.
What better way for young students to learn about these presidents than to explore documents from the time period – including letters, school work, diagrams and drawings created by the men themselves?
With the Library’s recently updated primary source set, Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln, students can immerse themselves in various aspects of these presidents’ lives by examining primary sources related to their early years, families, personal interests and achievements. In addition to documents created by each president, students will find photographs and prints of the time which can provide context to help bring these famous men to life.
Here are some ideas for incorporating this primary source set in your classroom:
- Identify characteristics of the three presidents by comparing portraits;
- Study family photographs, handwritten documents, and school work to make personal connections;
- Examine Jefferson’s handwritten draft of the Declaration of Independence and consider the process of writing and collaboration; and
- Create a presidential timeline and add primary sources and information as they are discovered.
As with all of the Library’s Primary Source Sets, a Teacher’s Guide is available with background information, more teaching ideas, and additional resources.
Which of these primary sources would you use in your classroom or library, and how? We’d love to hear your ideas for helping students make connections to these important people in our nation’s history.