Sometimes analyzing primary sources can help us reflect on commonplace aspects of our culture that we take for granted, illustrating how arbitrary they are, or how they change over time. John Collins’ 1939 “Proposed Utopian Calendar”, an attempt to reform the Gregorian calendar, provides an opportunity for students to practice historical, mathematical, and scientific reasoning to reflect on how humans have historically sought to organize our activities.
Reflecting on related primary sources can provide students with a fun way to employ mathematical thinking to understand the history of sports such as baseball up to the present day.
Sending and cracking secret messages dates back to the foundation and exploration of the country. But did you know that much of the cryptographic work that helped the United States win World War II was accomplished by female codebreakers?
Analyzing secret messages from the past can also be a fun way for students to gain perspective into historical events while simultaneously practicing real-world mathematical and computational thinking skills.
Analyzing primary sources using mathematical reasoning can help students quantify historical changes over time, giving them a concrete sense of scope and scale, while providing meaningful historical perspective.
Analyzing primary sources with a mathematics focus can help students develop their math skills in a real-world context, while also giving them fresh insights into history and other disciplines.
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As you start back to school in the new year, we wanted to highlight a few outstanding posts from other Library of Congress blogs that you may have missed. Hopefully they’ll spur some ideas for classroom activities featuring the Library’s collections.