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Category: Teaching Strategies

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

Primary Sources in Science Classrooms: Plants, Photos from Tuskegee, and Planning Investigations

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

Scientific investigations with plants are a staple in elementary school classrooms. Young learners study plant structures and functions, what plants need to grow, how plants reproduce and pass on genetic information, and how matter and energy move in ecosystems. As they learn core scientific ideas, students should simultaneously engage in the practices of scientists. Historic photographs can serve as windows into planning and carrying out scientific investigations.

One woman watches as another examines with a magnifying glass an ornate, decorative image on a printed page

Intern Lesson: Who Knew Analyzing Primary Sources Could Be So Exciting?

Posted by: Cheryl Lederle

As the end of my internship draws near and I look back at all I have learned, one thing sticks out: I have been surprised by how exciting analyzing primary sources can be. I watched as teachers at our workshops sat with images in front of them, and their facial expressions went from an initial blank stare to expressions of full engagement and wonder as they looked at every detail of an image to answer questions like: What is the image trying to convey? Why? Who created it? In groups, the teachers became excited students working together to analyze an image.