Primary Sources in Science Classrooms: Size, Scale, and Scientific Communication

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.

Primary Sources in Science Classrooms: Severe Weather and Community Resilience

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.

Primary Sources in Science Classrooms: Coal River and Human Impacts on Earth’s Systems

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.

Primary Sources in Science Classrooms: Plants, Photos from Tuskegee, and Planning Investigations

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.