Our Favorite Posts: Using the Primary Source Analysis Tool

Each summer, we take time to reflect on the past school year and select a few highlights from our blog posts. In anticipation of that, we’d like to present a favorite post that Cheryl discovered last year. 

One of the best parts of my job is hearing back from teachers after they implement what they learned in a workshop or Summer Teacher Institute. The flexibility and value of the primary source analysis tool comes up frequently, and I like this post because it “rounds up”  a series of posts suggesting ways to use the tool.

What are some of your favorite strategies to support students in analyzing primary sources?

Blog Round-Up: Using the Primary Source Analysis Tool

June 26, 2012 by

What’s a good way to get started with primary sources?  Try using the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis Tool, a graphic organizer that helps K-12 students closely examine primary sources and record their ideas in a way that builds understanding.  Want some suggestions on how to incorporate the analysis tool into classroom activities?  Here’s a round-up of blog posts to help you.

Primary Source Analysis Tool

The Library’s Primary Source Analysis Tool: Helping K-12 Students Start Analyzing Primary Sources walks you through the basic steps of using the Primary Source Analysis Tool with students.

Looking Harder: Inspiring Close Observation offers tips on helping your students improve their observation skills while making connections to the primary source.

Primary Source Analysis Tool: Using the “Reflect” Column to Develop Critical Thinking  examines one of the most exciting parts of the analysis process: having students share what they think is happening in the primary source, and guiding them in providing evidence for their thinking.

Selecting Questions to Increase Student Engagement goes into some depth about how to use the Library’s Teacher’s Guides to ask questions that will help your students practice higher-order thinking.

Pair of students use a Primary Source Analysis Tool to analyze a document

Pair of students use a Primary Source Analysis Tool to analyze a document

Primary Source Analysis Tool: Forming Meaningful Questions explores how to help your students improve their own questioning skills – or, in some cases, help them begin to ask questions.

Primary Source Analysis Tool: What’s Next? Further Investigation takes a look at strategies for moving forward after analyzing a primary source.

Don’t miss Top Ten Tips for Facilitating an Effective Primary Source Analysis – a list based on Summer Institute teachers’ most frequently cited tips for facilitating an effective primary source analysis.

If you’ve used the Primary Source Analysis Tool in your classroom, we’d love to hear any advice you have for other teachers – related to anything from classroom management to materials to encouraging your students.

Congress.gov: Coming to NCSS with Information That Will Amaze Your Students

Tammie Nelson of the Library of Congress is the IT manager of Congress.gov, the source for U.S. legislative information. As part of my job, I read all of the comments that come to the Library about our online legislative information.  My favorite comment is this one, submitted on February 25, 2011: “I am in 8th […]

Keeping Track of Your Online Resources: Changes to American Memory and myLOC.gov

Curating. Collecting. Pinning. Cutting and pasting. Bookmarking. Gathering links. We all have our own methods for keeping track of the resources we find online and want to save for later. Sharing and updating these personal curation strategies is especially important given the ever-shifting nature of the Web, and the need to keep up with sites […]

What’s Happening in Science Education

This post was written by Library of Congress science and technology specialist Jennifer Harbster, and was originally published on the Library’s science, technology, and business blog Inside Adams. For teacher resources on teaching with the Library’s primary source collections, visit our Teachers page. Have you ever wondered, “is it really possible to fry an egg […]

Civil War Portraits from the Liljenquist Family Collection: A New Teacher Primary Source Set of Photographs from the Library of Congress

A drummer boy gazes solemnly into the camera. Two soldiers clown around with cigars. A girl in a mourning dress holds a photo of her father in uniform.

The Civil War was the most photographed war of its era, and the Library’s new primary source set, “Civil War Soldiers’ Portraits: The Liljenquist Family Collection,” brings students face to face with some of the men and boys who fought in the Civil War.

National History Day: Choosing Standout Topics Using Library of Congress Primary Sources

This time of year, thousands of students are selecting topics for their 2014 National History Day projects. In this guest post, Lynne O’Hara, Director of Programs for National History Day, offers pointers for using free online primary sources from the Library of Congress to choose a topic that stands out from the crowd. National History […]