Welcome Back to Teaching with the Library of Congress

September. Back to work--back to school, back to books. Chicago, WPA Federal Arts Project, between 1936-1940.

September. Back to work–back to school, back to books. Chicago, WPA Federal Arts Project, between 1936-1940.

Welcome back to the classroom, and welcome back to Teaching with the Library of Congress!

The Library is a cultural institution like no other, and provides countless opportunities for teachers and students through its vast online collections of free primary sources. These photographs, maps, letters, music, posters, films, and other artifacts have great instructional power, and can support students across disciplines as they build their critical thinking skills and create new knowledge.

The best place to start is the Library’s Web site for teachers, loc.gov/teachers, where you’ll find ready-to-use classroom materials, teaching strategies, and opportunities for professional learning.

To keep up with the latest news for teachers from the Library, as well as to learn about intriguing artifacts and ideas for educators, follow @TeachingLC on Twitter and subscribe to this blog. We’d love to learn about what you’ve done with Library resources in your own teaching and learning, and we’d be happy to hear about what more we can do to help.

BookmarkwithURLIn the meantime, are you looking for powerful ways to incorporate primary sources into your classroom activities? Here are a few blog posts that will supply some ideas you can use.

Ten Ways to Enrich Your Classroom with Primary Sources parts 1 and 2
Explore some easy ways to incorporate Library of Congress primary sources into daily classroom activities.

Back to School Night: Parents and Primary Sources
Want parents to learn how their students will use primary sources during the school year? This blog post provides ideas on how to introduce parents to the benefits of primary sources and to help them them become engaged with their children’s classroom activities.

Who Knew Analyzing Primary Sources Could Be So Exciting?
Intern Arline Troncoza talks about how bringing primary source analysis to students can take a classroom of bored kids and help them become engaged and excited to learn more.

Primary Source Sets for the K-2 Classroom
Looking for primary sources for students in early grades? Here are a few resources you can use.

Timelines for Teachers: Historical Primary Sources from the Library of Congress by Era
Timelines are a great teacher timesaver. Explore a few of the timelines found on the Library’s Web site for teachers.

1507 Waldseemüller World Map in action

1507 Waldseemüller World Map in action

Introducing Primary Source Analysis to Students: Lessons from the Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institute
Eden Kuhlenschmidt discusses how she uses a single map to help start a mapping unit and primary source analysis for 6th grade students at her school.

What are some of your ideas to introduce students and their parents to the wonder of primary sources? Let us know in the comments.

Five Questions with Jennifer Cutting, Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center

Folklife – songs, stories, jokes, crafts, and dances which have been handed down from generation to generation – are the unwritten history of the American people, and they help us understand what it is like to belong to a group, whether that group is a family, an ethnic group, a regional group, or a group of workers in the same occupation.

Five Questions with Ken Drexler, Digital Reference Specialist, Digital Reference Team

Recently I updated our guide to World War I materials, which contains links to online photographs, documents, newspapers, films, sheet music, and sound recordings from the war. With the centennial of the U.S. entry into WWI approaching, I expect that the WWI guide will be particularly useful for teachers and students.