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Teacher Webinar Tuesday Nov 18: Using Library of Congress Primary Sources to Engage Students in Inquiry Learning

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This post is by Rebecca Newland, the 2013-2015 Library of Congress Teacher in Residence.

An inquiry approach supports students as they draw on their prior knowledge, personal experiences, and critical thinking skills to develop questions that guide their learning. Students are able to pursue answers to their own questions, increasing their engagement and giving them direct control as they construct meaning about topics of interest to them.

[Samuel W. Doble of Company D, 12th Maine Infantry Regiment, with drum [between 1861 and 1865]
Samuel W. Doble of Company D, 12th Maine Infantry Regiment, with drum [between 1861 and 1865] 
Join us for a webinar focused on strategies for taking an inquiry approach to teaching with primary sources on Tuesday, November 18, at 4 PM ET. Library education experts will expand on strategies and resources related to using primary sources in inquiry learning. Participants will engage in a model primary source analysis with items related to the Civil War and discuss strategies for incorporating primary sources into inquiry learning processes.

For those unable to attend the webinar the recording is now available.

The Library’s Teachers page offers ideas and resources to support inquiry learning. We have rounded up a few of our favorites:

Throughout the year, the Library will be hosting webinars focusing on a variety of instructional strategies for using primary sources in K-12 instruction. The 2014 schedule, recordings of past events, and information about joining the webinar are now available.

Watch this blog for reminders about upcoming webinars!

We invite you to add to the conversation in the comments:  How do you use primary sources to support inquiry learning in your classroom or library?


  1. I use Bloom’s Revised Taconomy along with research of the U.S. Constitution to teach my students to form questions from Bloom’s first three levels. Next students have to take those same questions and revise them to the higher three levels. I teach across several grades. I am going to use instruction from my adult GED class at Daley Coolege in Chicago to illustrate:
    Students get in small groups and read Amendment 1.
    They have to decide to which of the seven Articles Amendment 1 applies. This decision process demands students comprehend Amendment 1.
    Comprehension is developed by students creating one question from Bloom’s Remember, Understand or Apply categories. Example is ” Can I list all of Rights ?” (Remember ).
    Then students revise the question to reflect Analyze, Evaluate or Create categories. Example is “What is the relationship between the Rights listed and one of First Three Articles?” (Analyze).

    I think this is one method to help students use primary resources to support inquiry thinking learners.

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