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Two Reasons to be Excited: A New Magazine Feature and the National Book Festival

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This is a guest post by Lee Ann Potter, Director of Educational Outreach at the Library of Congress.

This month teachers have two new opportunities to join the discussion about great books and other primary sources.

The Educational Outreach team at the Library of Congress is excited to announce that beginning this month, we will begin to contribute a regular feature to each issue of Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS).  Each “Sources and Strategies” article will feature primary sources from the Library of Congress, suggest inquiry based teaching strategies, and highlight resources and opportunities available to educators from the Library.  In addition, each article will include an extension opportunity for you, our blog readers, to share your related classroom strategies!

Our first article highlights three title pages from volumes found in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library—they include Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract, arguably, volumes that shaped the world.

Using these title pages as prompts for student research on the origins of ideas contained in the founding documents of the United States is one possibility. What might some other strategies be for using these pages with students?

A hands-on activity at the 2012 National Book Festival

We are also excited that this coming weekend, we will be participating in the “Lab for Learning” in the Library of Congress Pavilion at the National Book Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC!  We will be engaging visitors in a hands-on activity entitled “Hide and Seek on Mulberry Street with the Library of Congress.”

Even if you can’t make it to our table—you can still do the activity with your students! Watch this space   And if you can’t make it to the festival, you and your students can still suggest Books that Shaped the World, just as festival goers will, on the National Book Festival Web site.


  1. Note: social education is available on-line only to members of ncss.

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