The Library of Congress will be at the National Science Teachers Association National Conference in Los Angeles, California, from March 30 through April 1, 2017. Stop by booth #2158 to discover how to access these primary sources as well as pedagogical strategies to help students analyze them.
From atoms to cells, organisms to ecosystems, and Earth’s systems to galaxies, scientists study and make sense of objects and phenomena of all shapes and sizes. Primary sources can serve as starting points for students to explore the ways in which scientists study and communicate about things and events, large and small.
Throughout human history, communities have contended with the consequences and costs of severe weather. Recent discourse about climate, sea levels, and weather events include both national and local-level conversations about building community resilience in response to severe weather. Primary sources can initiate deep learning about severe weather and community preparedness and responses.
Individually and collectively humans exert both positive and negative influences on Earth’s systems. Teachers and students studying the interactions among Earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere and related human activity can explore images, manuscripts, and recorded oral history interviews from the Coal River community in West Virginia.
Invasive species overtake both ecosystems and news headlines. Historical primary sources, such as newspapers from Chronicling America, paired with modern periodicals, reveal how organisms introduced into new ecological contexts can cause unexpected consequences.
The Library of Congress is home to millions of historical primary sources, including documents related to the work of Congress. Teachers can explore Congress.gov, the official website for U.S. federal legislative information, and consider how federal legislation can launch science learning.
Throughout history, humans have devised methods for transporting, testing, and transforming water, a limited natural resource. Examining historical primary sources invites students to grapple with the local, global, social, political, and scientific dimensions of water.
Join us for a one-hour webinar on Thursday, March 17, at 4pm Eastern to explore how primary sources can support problem- and project-based learning in science classrooms.
Scientific investigations with plants are a staple in elementary school classrooms. Young learners study plant structures and functions, what plants need to grow, how plants reproduce and pass on genetic information, and how matter and energy move in ecosystems. As they learn core scientific ideas, students should simultaneously engage in the practices of scientists. Historic photographs can serve as windows into planning and carrying out scientific investigations.
Introduce a lesson or unit on electricity, engineering, or computer science using historical primary sources that describe the first transatlantic telegraph.