For Children’s Book Week, we want to highlight books and authors talks available for free online from the Library of Congress. Of course, these can be powerful and engaging literacy tools any week of the year!
Classic Books Online
Explore Read.gov to discover familiar and unknown classic books for teens and children, offering both textual and visual delights for readers of all ages. Some of our favorites are:
- The Children’s Object Book – pictures of objects in and around homes a century ago might help students better understand life at that earlier time;
- Gobolinks – inkblots and short poems offer ideas for an art project that can also be a writing game;
- The Rocket Book – a rollicking tale with drawings that might prompt students to wonder about life in the early 20th century;
- The Jungle Book – a familiar story with beautiful illustrations that students might compare to one of the films based on the book; and,
- The Raven – haunting art by Gustave Doré interprets scenes from Poe’s narrative poem and might prompt students to create their own visual or performed interpretation.
Illustration of Baloo from The Jungle Book
Illustration from The Raven
The Library also has an archive of author talks from past National Book Festivals. Younger children might enjoy hearing from Jacqueline Woodson, Kate DiCamillo, Rafael López or others. Teens might begin with webcasts by Kwame Alexander, Sabaa Tahir, Sonia Manzano, or Gene Luen Yang, current National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, and then explore on their own.
Share your students’ favorites or discoveries in the comments.
In my first Multimedia Moment post, I focused on the action in actuality street scenes. One of the films, the 1897 Edison film Corner of Madison and State Streets, Chicago, showed people walking across the street with large signs that appeared to be advertisements. I instantly wanted to know what was written on the signs.
May is National Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Looking for ways to commemorate this month using primary sources?
Does each generation represent William Shakespeare in its own way? April, National Poetry Month, includes the anniversaries of both Shakepeare’s birth and death, and this year marks the 400th anniversary of his death. I was exploring ways the “Tercentenary” was commemorated when the headline “How Each Age Finds New Flaws in Shakespeare: Each Praises – […]
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.
National Poetry month, a month to celebrate poetry, is a perfect time to explore the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. Some of the readings focus closely on the poems; others include musings on the selections and what inspired them. Some of the recordings are of a single poet, and others are panels or conversations between two or more poets. Hearing a poem in the poet’s voice brings it to life in unexpected ways, and the range of poets offers something for all lovers of poetry.
In the most recent “Right to the Source” column in NSTA’s magazine The Science Teacher, Michael Apfeldorf discusses reactions in the early 20th century to reports of life on Mars. He explains that as early as 1894, scientists noted that conditions on Mars would not support life, but wild theories persisted in popular media. That reminded us of the Library’s many April Fools’ Day posts featuring primary sources that should not be taken at face value.
This post was written by Tom Bober, the Library of Congress 2015-16 Audio-Visual Teacher in Residence. Over the course of his year at Teacher in Residence, Tom will be writing regular posts exploring different aspects of audio-visual materials in the Library’s collection and their use in the classroom. What makes a fairy tale a fairy […]
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.