The expression “like a kid in a candy store” has been on my mind quite a bit since I began directing educational outreach at the Library of Congress earlier this month! Not only have I been feeling this way, but it has been gratifying (but not surprising!) to find that my colleagues and the audiences we serve feel this way too—about both the Library’s collections and the Library’s programs.
Chinese New Year has been observed annually in China for hundreds of years. Use Library of Congress primary sources to help your students explore this rich cultural tradition that has been passed on from generation to generation.
The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution is well known to many Americans. But the meaning of those 52 words, and the original intent of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, are still widely studied and debated.
A new primary source set from the Library of Congress, “The Spanish-American War: The United States Becomes a World Power,” brings teachers the artifacts and documents that tell these stories and more.
“The Library of Congress means many different things to many people,” wrote Stephen Wesson at the start of the second year of the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog. “But for teachers and students it represents a source of discovery and learning unlike any other.” He noted that the first year of the blog had looked at a variety of topics and provided teaching suggestions that help unlock the potential of our unique primary sources.
A recent blog post on presidential inaugurations noted that while the Constitution requires only an oath of office, presidential inaugurations have evolved to include many more activities. Many of these elements, including inaugural addresses, are documented in primary sources from the Library of Congress.
Inaugurations have evolved from this simple oath to include a series of events that both commemorate a transition of power and engage the public. A presidential inauguration also provides teachers and students a powerful lens through which to examine the principles at the foundation of American government—the rule of law, checks and balances, republicanism.
Congress.gov, the official congressional information system from the Library of Congress, is a new public beta site for accessing free, fact-based information on the legislation and members of the United States Congress.
Are there statues in your community created to honor those who have made a difference? Have buildings in your town been named or renamed for important people in history? Martin Luther King, Jr. is one such person. Ask your students to analyze a mural documenting the life of Dr. King, as seen in a photograph from the Carol M. Highsmith Archive at the Library of Congress.