In the most recent "Right to the Source" column in NSTA’s magazine The Science Teacher, Michael Apfeldorf discusses reactions in the early 20th century to reports of life on Mars. He explains that as early as 1894, scientists noted that conditions on Mars would not support life, but wild theories persisted in popular media. That reminded us of the Library's many April Fools' Day posts featuring primary sources that should not be taken at face value.
What makes a fairy tale a fairy tale? Many students in younger grades read them. They both listen to them and study them as a class. Fairy tale recordings in the National Jukebox can help students explore common elements of fairy tales, which can give them a grounding for deeper study.
This Tuesday, teachers and school librarians will have an opportunity to ask Library of Congress experts about the Rosa Parks papers. A Reddit “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) session from 9 to 12 a.m. (ET) in the AskHistorians subreddit will include education specialists from the Library, as well as staff who organized and described the papers of this civil rights legend.
The Library of Congress is home to millions of historical primary sources, including documents related to the work of Congress. Teachers can explore Congress.gov, the official website for U.S. federal legislative information, and consider how federal legislation can launch science learning.
Throughout history, humans have devised methods for transporting, testing, and transforming water, a limited natural resource. Examining historical primary sources invites students to grapple with the local, global, social, political, and scientific dimensions of water.
As an intern this semester at the Library of Congress, I have engaged in incredible conversations about our nation’s past with hundreds of people worldwide by staffing an interactive learning cart used inside the First Among Many: The Bay Psalm Book and Early Moments in American Printing exhibition.
Primary sources can also be selected to stimulate and support student investigations; look for primary sources that provoke intrigue and offer clues to give students starting points for further investigation.
The strategy of reading portraiture encourages the visual analysis of a piece of art, similar to closely reading a document. The visual clues found in portraiture may be decoded to learn about the individual featured in the artwork.