See You at NCTE: Resources for English Teachers from the Library of Congress

This post is by Rebecca Newland, the current Library of Congress Teacher in Residence.

Walt Whitman's "O Captain, My Captain" with comments by author, 9 February 1888

Walt Whitman’s “O Captain, My Captain” with comments by author, 9 February 1888

This year’s NCTE conference, Story as the Landscape of Knowing, will take place November 20-23 in the Library’s hometown, Washington, D.C.  You will find us at booth number 236  in the exhibit hall Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Whether or not you can attend, check out this selection of our favorite ideas and resources for English and language arts teachers from the Teachers page from the Library of Congress.

You might start with primary source sets, one of which focuses on American Authors in the Nineteenth Century: Whitman, Dickinson, Longfellow, Stowe, and Poe.

The Library’s K-12 education team also publishes regular blog posts. Search for “poetry,” “books,” and “writing” in our blog archives, but here are a few highlights:

  • Focus on specific works of literature, with posts such as this one related to controversies surrounding Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
  •  Take a look at this post featuring drafts of “The Ballad of Booker T.” by Langston Hughes, when studying the writing process.
  • Explore the question “What is a poem?” with poet and former Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish’s poem “Ars Poetica,”
  • Read strategies for working with informational text in historic newspapers from Chronicling America.
  • Engage students in discussion about how stories connect us with National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Kate DiCamillo.

Explore poetry and literature lesson plans, and the presentation Lyrical Legacy: 400 Years of American Song and Poetry.

Find additional resources through The Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. Discover digitized classic books  as well as author webcasts along with a variety of other resources including a free app for Aesop’s Fables.


Tangible and Intangible Legacies

As our fourth and final blog post this fall related to the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, it seems appropriate that its theme focus on the concept of legacy. What a singer-songwriter leaves behind, from recordings, to manuscripts, to lyrics, can be thought of as their tangible legacies. The impact of his or her work, the connections listeners and concert goers make to the music, and the emotions the music inspires–these are some of the intangible legacies.

Teacher Webinar Tuesday Nov 18: Using Library of Congress Primary Sources to Engage Students in Inquiry Learning

An inquiry approach supports students as they draw on their prior knowledge, personal experiences, and critical thinking skills to develop questions that guide their learning. The process engages students because pursuing the answers to their own questions gives them direct control as they construct meaning about topics of interest. Join us for a webinar focused on strategies for taking an inquiry approach to teaching with primary sources on Tuesday, November 18, at 4 PM ET.

Hangout for Teachers Tuesday October 21: The Veterans History Project

Learn more about the Veterans History Project (VHP) from the Library of Congress and the many ways it can be used in the classroom.  Teachers who have both contributed to and taught with the rich collections of the Veterans History Project, education staff from the Library, and the VHP staff will discuss these rich resources and […]