Ideal for Distance Learning: Primary Source-Based Interactives and Apps Developed for Especially for Students

This post is written by Lee Ann Potter, the director of the Learning and Innovation Office at the Library of Congress.

If you are a regular reader of the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog, you know that the resources we highlight and the strategies we suggest are teacher-focused.  We recognize that you know your students best.  You know what primary sources will capture their attention and what approaches will help meet your curricular objectives.

This post is also teacher-focused, in that we are writing to you, but today we are highlighting some resources that feature the Library’s collections and were developed specifically for students.  If you are currently teaching at a distance, inviting your students to work directly with these online interactives and mobile apps may be of interest.

Students using KidCitizen

Perhaps your K-5 students are . . .

. . . learning about how to be community helpers.

KidCitizen, developed by Snow and Company and University of South Florida, introduces a new way for young students (K-5) to engage with history through primary sources.  In the interactive episodes, children explore civics and government concepts by investigating primary source photographs.  They also connect what they find with their daily lives.

Perhaps your secondary students are . . .

. . . embarking on a historical research project,

The Research Learning Modules, developed by Maryland Public Television and Maryland Humanities, include a series of self-paced lessons for students to learn the research process—from analyzing sources to writing solid thesis statements and more.  Each module includes a brief video introduction and opportunities for practice.

 . . . practicing evidence-based reasoning,

DBQuest, developed by iCivics, introduces students to major questions in civics and history. A Big Question acts as guiding light for deep examination of three selected primary resources. Each document challenges students to dig into the text itself and find the relevant information through document–based supporting questions.

. . . identifying the basic tenets of representative government,

Engaging Congress, developed by the Indiana University Center on Representative Government, is a series of game-based learning activities that explores the basic tenets of representative government and the challenges that it faces in contemporary society. Primary source documents are used to examine the history and evolution of issues that confront Congress today.

. . . developing their knowledge of civic principles,

Case Maker, developed by Bean Creative, is a customizable system for inquiry-based learning for 6-8 grade students using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Modeled after the ‘observe, reflect, question,’ framework, Case Maker guides students to challenge a question, collect evidence, and make a case.

. . . or learning about the women’s suffrage movement.

Eagle Eye Citizen, developed by the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media, engages middle and high school students in solving and creating interactive challenges on American history, civics, and government with Library of Congress primary sources in order to develop students’ civic understanding and historical thinking skills. Their featured challenge focuses on the women’s suffrage movement.

*All of the resources featured in this post were developed by organizations that have received grant funding from the Library of Congress through the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program.  For more information about them and our other grantees, see: //loc.gov/teachers/tps/.

 

 

Starting Conversations with Students about Personal Spending, Investing, and Stewardship with Historical Receipts

In the Sources and Strategies article, we explained that receipts for personal expenses such as these – for initiation fees, annual and lifetime membership dues, taxes, and donations – can provide starting points for conversations with students about a wide variety of economic topics from personal spending to investing to stewardship, and more.

Expanding Student Understanding of Slavery in America by Exploring an Arabic Muslim Slave Narrative

In the January-February 2019 issue of Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies, our “Sources and Strategies” article discusses the Life of Omar ibn Said, the only known extant narrative written in Arabic by an enslaved person in the United States. Analyzing this unique manuscript provides students with an opportunity to expand their understanding of some of the people who were brought to the United States from Africa to be enslaved. How educated were they? What did they believe?

The League of Nations: Conflicting Opinions in Editorial Cartoons

One hundred years ago, on January 25, 1919, the delegates to the Paris Peace Conference approved a proposal to create the League of Nations. Nearly a year later, on January 16, 1920, the League held its first meeting with its stated principal mission of maintaining world peace.

Music educators: How might you imagine using our resources?

Back in December 2017, a colleague of ours here at the Library published a short piece in the Music Educator’s Journal highlighting the many video recordings of musical performances at the Library of Congress hosted on the Library’s YouTube channel. Focusing on videos documenting the American Folklife Center’s Homegrown concert series, Lee Ann Potter (Director, Educational Outreach) noted that these resources offer great value to teachers and students. What is that value, and how can we here at the AFC help realize it?