New July Workshop Added on Women’s Suffrage – Apply Now!

Applications are now open for a hands-on workshop on teaching with primary sources related to women’s suffrage. The workshop will be held July 24 – 26 at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Recommended for K-12 educators who teach some aspect of women’s suffrage as part of their curriculum or collaborate with those who do, the workshop will focus on pedagogy, emphasizing approaches to support student engagement, critical thinking, and construction of knowledge. For details about the workshop and the application process, click here.

Detail from “Discriminating against mother,” Tulsa daily world, November 3, 1918. (Selected from the Women’s Suffrage Primary Source Set)

Apply if you want:

  • To learn effective strategies to incorporate primary sources into your teaching;
  • To develop an activity plan using primary sources from the Library of Congress;
  • An opportunity to interact with teachers from around the country and exchange ideas;
  • To explore the Library’s rich collections and work with experts from around the institution; and
  • To meet the education specialists who, among other things, create this blog!

The professional development opportunity is free but participants must pay for travel to Washington, D.C., and for lodging and food while attending the workshop.

What did recent participants have to say about their experiences? Here are some reflections offered a few months after last summer’s institutes:

2018 Institute participants take a close look at primary sources

Effects on students –

  • “Students seem to make more inferences with pictures, and their analysis leads to additional questions and research. These are exactly the strategies we want our students to learn.”
  • “I was surprised at some of the questions that the students asked and what caught their attention. Many of the things I took for granted that they would know – they didn’t.
  • “The students ‘owned’ what they were doing, and the research led them to some interesting insights about their own lives (they don’t have to work in a glass factory instead of going to school).  Their reflections at the end of the task showed how they connected with the images.”

Effects on teaching practices –

  • “I learned to be more intentional in framing questions for analyzing documents.”
  • “Before this institute I was afraid of primary sources but now I am finding sources and telling teachers about it.”
  • “Rigorous analysis doesn’t mean just reading a difficult text. Some amazing analysis can be done with a well-chosen photograph.”
  • “I wasn’t going to use primary sources with students younger than third grade… But once I tried with the younger students, it has been amazing to see what you can do on lower levels with the students.”

More details about the workshop and the application process can be found here. Don’t delay – the deadline to apply to attend this workshop is May 3!

Icebox: Exploring States of Matter Using Historic Photographs

Elementary students frequently learn about states of matter and may even build solar ovens or insulation boxes for experiments. While creating insulation boxes might seem to be a relatively simple science experiment today, methods such as these were once essential to providing safe food storage.

Expanding Student Understanding of Slavery in America by Exploring an Arabic Muslim Slave Narrative

In the January-February 2019 issue of Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies, our “Sources and Strategies” article discusses the Life of Omar ibn Said, the only known extant narrative written in Arabic by an enslaved person in the United States. Analyzing this unique manuscript provides students with an opportunity to expand their understanding of some of the people who were brought to the United States from Africa to be enslaved. How educated were they? What did they believe?