Harper Lee’s tale of conflict in a small Alabama town is a perennial favorite with teachers. The Library’s lesson plan “To Kill a Mockingbird: A Historical Perspective”, which uses photos and oral histories from the Library’s collections, has always been fairly popular.
This lesson plan has always been fairly popular. But in the past month, something unusual has happened.
Though television and the Internet bring images of war into the home, many students might not be aware of the day-to-day experiences of those who have fought on the front lines. A great way to help expose students to these stories is through the Veterans History Project from the Library of Congress.
The Ask a Librarian feature on the Library’s Web site puts you in touch with me and other Library reference staff and is an excellent place to turn for information you can’t find elsewhere on the Library’s site.
“There are millions of primary sources online at the Library of Congress! Where do I start?” is a common question from K-12 educators. Get some answers in this brief intro to the Library of Congress Teachers Page.
Register to attend the Library of Congress Exploring the Early Americas Teacher Institutes in Washington, D.C. Participants will leave with strategies and materials they can use in their schools.
Ask your students, “What national holidays have Americans traditionally celebrated in November?” and most will likely respond, “Thanksgiving.” Some may also reply, “Veterans Day.” But I would venture to guess few students, if any, would answer, “Armistice Day.”
Now you can bring Library of Congress artifacts and experts into your classroom! Short (less than three minutes) videos about some of the Library’s “hidden treasures,” created in partnership with HISTORY, feature Library curators briefly describing each item and its importance in history.
When I talk with teachers about online primary sources from the Library of Congress, I often spend a few minutes describing the Library itself.
My favorite treasure trove of gorgeous images showcasing the Jefferson Building is by the distinguished American photographer Carol M. Highsmith.
For those of us at the Library of Congress who work with K-12 teachers, a crucial part of our work is promoting the effective instructional use of primary sources. Primary sources—the raw materials of history and culture—are very powerful tools for teaching.