This post is by Teresa St. Angelo, the 2016-2017 Library of Congress Teacher in Residence.
When school is closed on a snowy day, let the learning and fun continue at home using Library of Congress primary sources.
Create Map Puzzles
Print two copies of this map from 1818. Glue one copy to poster board or construction paper. Cut out the states from the other copy. You can glue the state pieces to poster board or construction paper to make them sturdier. Place the pieces over the map and complete the puzzle. For added challenge, let students assemble the pieces without giving them the complete map.
To prompt questions about the growth and expansion of the United States, make a map puzzle using this United States map from 1874 and compare the two.
Repeat with other maps, or pairs of maps, from the collections of the Library of Congress as often as you like!
Make a Matching Game
Print two copies of Bufford’s sleighing cards.
Cut out the images and glue on an index card or a piece of construction paper. Play a matching game by placing your twelve cards face down and take turns picking two cards to find a match.
Have fun finding other images to personalize and create your own matching game based on a historical time period or event using primary sources from loc.gov. Ready-made primary source sets offer a great starting place!
Make a Calendar
- Make a themed calendar (for example, American Revolution, women in history, inventions, historical figures, or ships), choosing a different image for each month. If time allows, highlight dates of important events for the theme.
- Find images to place on calendar number spaces to highlight special events for your family, such as birthdays, vacations, or doctor and dentist appointments.
Compare Winter Days, Past and Present
Divide a sheet of paper in half. Label the top of the left side, 1881. Label the top of the right side, 2017. Study this image of Winter Days, 1881 to create a list of winter activities shown. Write them under 1881. Then, under 2017, write a list of activities you could do today. Using the image and your lists, interview your family to learn what their favorite winter activity from the past is as well as their favorite winter activity today. If you like, draw a picture to represent winter activities today!
Explore Historic Newspapers
Look in Chronicling America for:
- articles about snowstorms and read a few;
- advertisements for sleds, skates, or winter clothing and compare to today’s prices;
- today’s month and day and browse the results.
Make a snowy day the sunniest! Please share a favorite snowy day activity that features primary sources.