Since the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog launched in 2011, we’ve published more than 900 posts covering a wide range of topics and suggesting various strategies for deepening student engagement and learning. This is the first of a series of posts revisiting some of our favorite strategies; we invite you to read along …
Analyzing primary sources, just like sharing my personal pictures, has provided students with first hand information from the past. This allows students to build connections between the concept being learned and the primary source and leads to powerful learning.
This process of observing, of reflecting on observations along with prior knowledge, and of generating questions about a primary source is valuable in itself. It also can serve as a springboard into further research.
The process of selecting books published long ago for a present-day audience provoked thoughtful conversations among our staff. We knew that the style of writing, the subject matter, and even the jokes found in century-old books might be difficult for young readers today to engage with. We knew that every book that we selected would inevitably reflect some of the attitudes, perspectives and beliefs of its own time, as well as failing to represent diverse authors and audiences.