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Archive: 2012 (41 Posts)

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

The Spanish Missions in Texas

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

Along the San Antonio River, you can find these gothic and Romanesque style buildings which house a rich history for Hispanic Americans all over the world. Studying these missions using primary sources from the Library of Congress is one way to help students learn about some of the contributions of Hispanics in America.

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

Presidential Elections: Newspapers and Complex Text

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

Newspapers offer rich examples of complex text, and they often have features to help readers understand and put it into context. Chronicling America offers digitized historical newspaper pages from 1836-1922, including a time-saving list of Recommended Topics. In this election season, I was drawn to the pages about presidential elections. Here are a few particulars that caught my attention, with teaching ideas that came to mind.

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

Analyzing Photographs: Child Labor from a Child’s Perspective

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

How do 21st century children respond to photographs of child labor? Barbara Natanson, who works in the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress, recently wrote a blog post about what her children saw in selected photographs that Lewis Hine took for the National Child Labor Committee. Replicating what Barbara did would be an easy way to introduce students to learning with primary sources.

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

Back to School Night: Parents and Primary Sources

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

Whether you call it “open house” or “back to school night,” an evening for teachers to meet and greet parents is a fall ritual. This year, consider “flipping” the event: distribute rules and policies in writing, allow time for parents to see examples of student learning, and include an activity or two to help parents better understand the learning processes their children will experience.

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

Observation in Primary Source Analysis: The Sticky Notes Solution

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

During recent Library of Congress summer teacher institutes, teachers of all grade and ability levels discussed ways to engage students in close observation of primary sources. They agreed that close observation is crucial to deep analysis and a key component of identifying and citing evidence from a primary source. One easy technique to help students improve their observation skill is to use sticky notes.

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

“Change over Time” – More than a Content Standard at the Summer Teacher Institute

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

When I attended the Library’s June Summer Teacher Institute, I was struck by how much the week of immersion in primary sources altered participants’ preliminary teaching plans. Between Library of Congress website discoveries and tours of real primary source collections, attendees extensively changed and enriched their plans.

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

Bringing Music and Primary Sources Together: A Teaching with Primary Sources Round Up

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

Popular songs often carry political or social messages or commentary on the events of the day. Music offers teachers a lens to explore the culture of a time and to help students understand issues of importance during that period in history. The Library of Congress archives a vast repository of sheet music and song sheets, and many of these rich primary sources are available online. Several Teaching with the Library of Congress blog entries point to music-related primary sources and ways to use them with students.