Abraham Lincoln on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, addressing an inaugural crowd at the end of a brutal war. Teddy Roosevelt leaning from the back of a railroad car to speak to an informal group gathered below him. Franklin Delano Roosevelt facing a row of radio microphones, addressing the nation—and the world—without leaving his home. …
Once a student has used primary source items to develop research questions, as in our previous post in this series, a next step is to begin delving deeply into primary and secondary sources to seek answers.
I love getting to see the students in Teresa St. Angelo's kindergarten classroom engage with the films and photographs and carefully identify evidence, of course. But the photos and stories in this post are also a valuable reminder that primary sources are powerful teaching tools at any grade level.
Common Core State Standards and many other standards require that students compare informational texts in different media. However, multimedia texts aren’t limited to the 21st century. In fact, one of the most compelling multimedia campaigns in U.S. history was launched more than one hundred years ago, using paper, glue, and an effective set of persuasive techniques.
Where can you find a wide range of authors writing from varied points of view, making arguments with appeals to evidence, rich with rhetorical strategies and figurative language, often using a number of different media, all in one package? In historic newspapers.
Sometimes one page can say more about a subject--and about the writer--than a thousand. Short texts from the Library of Congress, including letters and telegrams, can be used to help students unpack meaning and make inferences about the authors.
Informational text is more important to teachers than ever before, especially with the rise of the Common Core standards. The Library of Congress is an excellent resource for finding and using texts to build students' reading skills.
Is a newspaper a primary source? A political cartoon? A map? A lithograph? Is an excerpt in a textbook a primary source? How about a digitized facsimile? All of these questions came up during the Library of Congress Summer Teacher Institutes.