The first time I tried facilitating a primary source activity during my post-graduate museum education studies, I only had to guide my peers’ analysis of a single artifact for five minutes. Yet so much of what I learned from this experience later proved invaluable to me when teaching with primary sources “for real.”
Looking for a Constitution Day activity? Have students zoom in on actual draft documents to learn what’s behind the main ideas in the Constitution. They’re sure to discover some intriguing changes along the way.
Primary sources from the online collections of the Library of Congress can be powerful instructional tools. Analyzing these photos, films, maps, and audio recordings can help students engage with content, build their critical thinking skills, and construct knowledge.
The Library of Congress now bids farewell to its own rock star ambassador to the K-12 education community: our 2010-2011 Teacher in Residence, Sara Suiter.
Part of the power of teaching with primary sources comes from their immediacy—eyewitness accounts of historic events can have an emotional impact that secondary sources might lack. This is especially true of primary sources relating to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
What’s the most frustrating part of teaching with primary sources? They’re often incomplete and have little context. What’s the most rewarding part of teaching with primary sources? They’re often incomplete and have little context.
The good news is that the Library of Congress is working to make its digitized resources accessible and useful to all teachers, no matter what classroom technology they have available. And with millions of digitized items, it is important to select primary sources that are high quality.
How can five typewritten pieces of paper provide a glimpse into the mind of a great writer?
Have you or your students ever sent letters or care packages to soldiers overseas? The practice isn’t new.
Challenge your students to seek out the other side of the story — select primary sources that represent multiple perspectives.