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.
Is a newspaper a primary source? A political cartoon? A map? A lithograph? Is an excerpt in a textbook a primary source? How about a digitized facsimile? All of these questions came up during the Library of Congress’ Summer Teacher Institutes.
On the Library of Congress Web site, Chronicling America provides free access to millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1836-1922. Although the sheer volume of stories might seem daunting, Chronicling America makes it easy to explore the pages.
How can students be inspired to look closely–and think carefully–while they observe?
But you don’t have to come to Washington to bring the National Book Festival to your students. The Book Festival’s Kids and Teachers site is the key to enjoying the Book Festival experience no matter where you are.
Looking for primary sources relating to a specific period in United States history? Try using the American Memory Timeline from the Library of Congress.