George Washington and his Family
This post is co-authored by Cheryl Lederle and Danna Bell-Russel.
President’s Day? Presidents Day? Or Presidents’ Day?
Officially, it’s none of the above. By law, February 22 is called George Washington’s Birthday, but many now use the day to honor or commemorate all U.S. presidents. One easy way to help your students explore the legacy of three great presidents is by using a primary source set from the Library of Congress, Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln: Three Great Presidents.
As most readers of this blog know, primary source sets provide access to a collection of primary source items that are easy to download and print. They also include a teacher’s guide with background information and suggestions on ways to help teachers use these resources to encourage engagement and critical thinking and content understanding. This particular primary source set includes items suitable for teaching younger students.
In addition to the “Suggestions for Teachers” included with the primary source set, you could ask students to:
Abraham Lincoln and his Family
- Use the analysis tool to guide a closer look at one of the portraits. What do they think was the purpose of the portrait? What point of view was the painter trying to portray?
- Compare images of presidents from the past and present to see how presidents have been depicted in history and how that has changed over time.
- Create a description of what it means to look like or to be a leader. Do the images within the collection of portraits or in the primary source set show the presidents looking like a leader? Why or why not?
Looking for other images of presidents? Library experts have assembled a collection of presidential portraits that teachers can use to supplement the images in the Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln Primary Source Set.
What activities will you and your students do to study the lives of America’s presidents?
We wanted to revisit staff favorites, posts that received the most comments and some that were highlighted by teachers who work with the Library.
Apply to participate in a Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute at the Library of Congress.
One way to introduce African American History Month is by facilitating a discussion about the ways in which African American achievement has been recognized in the nation’s past.
Check out two new lesson plans from the Library of Congress using primary sources from Meeting of Frontiers, a bilingual, multimedia English-Russian digital library.
We were thrilled to see the wonderful responses from the blog post on teaching difficult subjects. A huge thank you to all of those who commented, made teaching suggestions and linked to this post.
What if after 235 years all that was left to tell the story of your life was a single scrap of paper? That is exactly what happened to a woman named Martha Morris who lived in New York during the Revolutionary War.
The Library appoints each Ambassador for a two-year term to travel around the country the importance of fiction and nonfiction in the lives of young people. Dr. Billington stated that the ambassador will be an award-winning author or illustrator whose position will acknowledge—at the national level—the importance of exceptional authors and illustrators in creating the readers of tomorrow.
The Library of Congress is working to make it easier for you to keep up with what’s new at the Library and to share your favorites with others. At the top of many pages of the Library’s Web site is a toolbar allowing you to share links through sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google, or to email, print or save the file. Look for the icons labeled Print, Subscribe or Share/Save.
Every year the Library’s education specialists bring Library of Congress resources to conferences in major cities across the United States. We look forward to meeting educators and providing suggestions on teaching with the Library’s digitized primary source collections.