Popular songs often carry political or social messages or commentary on the events of the day. Music offers teachers a lens to explore the culture of a time and to help students understand issues of importance during that period in history. The Library of Congress archives a vast repository of sheet music and song sheets, and many of these rich primary sources are available online. Several Teaching with the Library of Congress blog entries point to music-related primary sources and ways to use them with students.
Teachers agree that ease and fluency in writing come with frequent practice for a variety of purposes, whether making personal connections, analyzing information or constructing an answer to a document-based question. One way to incorporate more writing in the classroom is to create assignments using high-impact primary source images from the Library of Congress. Their real-world authenticity can rivet students’ attention, spark inquiry and draw them into a writing topic or task.
Today, we’ve collected posts from the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog discussing disasters, unexpected events in American history which had important ramifications, and how they can be approached in the classroom.
The Library of Congress recently launched an interactive online version with built-in sample questions to offer students guidance and to prompt further observation, reflective thinking, and questioning.
In his June 1st post celebrating the beginning of the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog’s second year of publication, Stephen Wesson pointed out that for teachers and students the Library of Congress “represents a source of discovery and learning unlike any other. Last week when I joined twenty-seven K-12 educators at the second of five 2012 Summer Teacher Institutes in Washington, D.C., I did indeed witness nonstop discovery and learning in a unique and awe-inspiring setting.
Summer often includes vacation with lots of time to catch up on popular novels and biographies and old favorites. On June 25, the Library of Congress launched a new exhibition, “Books That Shaped America,” featuring 88 books by American authors. Which books have shaped you or your students?
What’s a good way to get started with primary sources? Here’s a guide to blog posts about using the Library’s Primary Source Analysis Tool to begin investigating historical documents.
If you’re attending the International Society of Technology in Education in San Diego this year, please come visit the Library of Congress on the exhibit floor. The Library will be in booth #4641.
In addition to the materials found on the Teachers Page, there are many other resources on the Library of Congress website that teachers can use to find primary sources.
As students (and teachers) begin looking ahead to summer, celebrate the Fourth of July a little early in your classroom by using The Declaration of Independence: Rewriting the Rough Draft, an online activity from the Library of Congress,