One of the Library’s primary source sets for educators, Civil War Music, has recently been re-tuned to reflect the central role that music played in the Civil War, with the addition of more than a dozen items from the Library’s collections.
A frustration early in my teaching career was getting students to interact critically with primary sources. After many lackluster attempts, I determined to seek a solution. Through trial and error with different approaches, I found the most success when teaching students a step-by-step approach to critical analysis.
Have you ever thought about taking one topic or theme and finding the connections in various subjects? Consider having a spider-themed day at your school and see how you can work spiders into your classroom activities.
When I learned that Smokey Robinson would be the next recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, I was thrilled.
The Gershwin Prize honors a living musical artist’s lifetime achievement in promoting the genre of song as a vehicle of cultural understanding; entertaining and informing audiences; and inspiring new generations.
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.
One of the biggest reasons I love working at the Library of Congress is that my curiosity is sparked on a daily basis. Most recently, I have been fascinated by the music manuscripts of the early American composer Anthony Philip Heinrich (1781-1861). He was one of the first professional composers in the United States and was known as the “Beethoven of America.”
Lately, a few of my colleagues and I have been thinking about teaching with fine arts-related primary sources, as we prepare a TPS Journal issue focused on this topic.
The Library of Congress has just launched a new collection, The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America, which explores American history through the lens of song.
“The context for each imaginary contraption becomes fodder for understanding ideas about space and flight.” We’ve added some ideas at the end for ways to use these primary sources to deepen student understanding of the ways in which people have imagined space and flight.
There’s nothing like primary sources to make you question your prior knowledge, and this blog post has several that surprise, spark interest, and make you want to learn more. Along with the suggested teaching activities, which are useful across most grade levels, these primary sources can help your students explore a famous historical event from several different perspectives including that of George Washington himself.