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Image of a television camera in the House chamber
Television Camera in the House Chamber. Marion Trikosko, 1979

Audio-Visual Resources for Educators

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Thanks to Laura Jenemann from the Library’s Now See Here blog for allowing us to excerpt from this post. We’ve added teaching ideas for these materials at the end of the post, and we welcome yours in the comments.

This summer, the Library of Congress hosted free professional development workshops at which educators learned and practiced strategies for using primary sources with K-12 students. We shared resources at these onsite workshops, and we also wanted to share them more broadly for educators anywhere!

Below are free and publicly available online resources which include audio, video, and other documentation from the Library’s National Audio-Visual Conservation Center.

American Archive of Public Broadcasting
The American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a collaboration between the Library of Congress and GBH, is a collection of thousands of hours of radio and television broadcasting. The website includes curated exhibits on a variety of topics.

National Screening Room
“The National Screening Room showcases the riches of the Library’s vast moving image collection, designed to make otherwise unavailable movies, both copyrighted and in the public domain, accessible to viewers worldwide. The majority of titles in the National Screening Room are freely available as both 5 mb MP4 and ProRes 422 MOV/Quicktime downloads.” The site also includes articles and essays.

National Jukebox
The National Jukebox includes thousands of recordings from 1900-1925, many  available for download, and articles and essays.

Lastly, the Moving Image Research Center and the Recorded Sound Research Center are happy to assist you with questions about these and other resources. Don’t hesitate to contact Ask a Librarian about these  or any other resources provided by the Library.

Looking for ideas on how to incorporate these resources into your classroom activities?

  • Use moving images or sound recording to provide supplemental information or a different point of view. Ask students how a moving image or sound recording can add context or additional information about an event.
  • Ask students to read a newspaper article or editorial and then watch or listen to a news report or editorial on the same topic. Which do they think does the best job at swaying opinions. Why?
  • Consider how music or other performing arts can provide different points of view or influence those engaging with the recording.
  • Play a moving image or sound recording on a specific event. How can these recordings help people remember events? How can they shape how events are remembered?
  • Show examples of interviews, advertisements, news reports, or other materials created to influence opinions. Encourage students to note different methods used to sway opinions.
  • Choose a topic and ask students to share their point of view. Then present interviews, debates, or other materials that show differing points of view. Ask students if they changed or reconsidered their opinions based on what they saw or heard and what swayed them.
  • Show examples of political campaign ads or interviews with candidates. How do they use the media to sway voters? Explore materials that might be targeted to certain groups. Identify the groups targeted and then how the ads focused on a specific group.

For more suggestions on how to incorporate moving and sound images into classroom activities, explore the Multimedia Moments blogs by former Library of Congress Teacher in Residence Tom Bober.

To support the foundational analysis of sound and visual recordings, check out the Library’s Primary Source Analysis Tool and teacher’s guides available here.

What ideas do you have on how to incorporate sound and visual recordings in classroom activities? Add a note in the comments.

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