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Posts tagged ‘library of congress’

Teaching with the Library of Congress blog

Hey. I get it. You’re busy. It’s the end of the year and stuff is starting to pile up. And so you might not have a ton of time right now for reading a new blog.

So here’s the deal. Just head over the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog and bookmark it. Subscribe to an email or RSS feed. Then forget it till this summer.

Then go back and read, read, read. Cause it will change your life. Seriously. I don’t often say stuff like that but the Library of Congress is just that good. And their online content is seriously awesome.

So what makes it so good? Read more

Teaching with great primary sources and TPS-Barat

In my world for the next few weeks, it’s all social studies, Common Core, state standards, and best practices all the time. I get to lead and be part of a wide variety of sessions and trainings that focus on integrating our new state standards with high quality social studies instruction.

Yeah. I know. Great times!

So I’ve been looking around for ideas and examples and resources and just whatever else might be useful for teachers. Some of us were looking for a nice way to help teachers meet the following literacy piece that is part of both the Common Core and the Kansas state social studies standards:

analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

Read more

The Library of Congress, Places in the News, and Common Core standards alignment

Social studies teachers, like all other teachers, have a limited amount of time. So you need to pick and choose where you spend your time. Some places and tools are non-negotiable: Google Earth, Teaching History, Beyond the Bubble, ThinkFinity, EDSITEment.

And, of course, the Library of Congress. The LOC is an incredible resource with so much to offer – lesson plans, primary sources, and professional development.

But no matter how well I think I know them, I keep finding new things that they offer. My latest discoveries?

That’s right. Today here at History Tech, it’s a two for one. Read more

Tip of the Week: The Teacher’s Guide to the Library of Congress

The list of non-negiotable resources that every social studies teacher should be using is really not that long. But every time I edit my list, the Library of Congress always finds its way on.

It’s got great lessons, documents. social media, primary source teaching tools . . . basically the sort of stuff every teacher can use. And I’ve written tons about all of their goodies.

But sometimes it’s nice to have all of the goodies in one place. So if you’re looking for that sort of thing, head over to The Teacher’s Guide to the Library of Congress. You’ll find an handy infographic and tons of LOC links broken into tips, tricks, guides, useful tools, and resources.

It’s a nice collection that I probably should have put together years ago. But now I’m off the hook and you’ll find great stuff. Win, win!

TPS and Inquiry Learning

I’m sure you know that TPS is the powerful and very useful Library of Congress program called Teaching with Primary Sources. But sometimes it’s easy to forget about all the resources that the TPS people have put together for social studies teachers.

One of the most useful things you can find is their Teaching with Primary Sources Quarterly. Each Quarterly focuses on a specific topic with helpful articles, links to sources, and grade level lesson plans. This quarter’s topic is using primary source activities that align to the Common Core.

But dig a bit deeper into their archive and you can find some very cool ideas and resources. I went back and pulled up the Summer 2009 Quarterly and reviewed some very nice stuff on Inquiry Learning.

Remember that this was way before the Common Core . . . back when we were still deep in the hard core state assessment, multiple choice is good for kids era. And in the midst of all of that, the LOC was working hard to support teachers looking for high quality instructional strategies and ideas. The Summer 2009 Quarterly is perhaps even more useful today, as we are all looking for ways to help kids ask good questions and develop great answers.

Barbara Stripling, former president of the American Association of School Librarians, wrote the lead article for the issue and defined Inquiry Learning as:

. . . a process of active learning that is driven by questioning and critical thinking. The understandings that students develop through inquiry are deeper and longer lasting than any pre-packaged knowledge delivered by teachers to students.

Sounds pretty Common Corish to me. She also included a visual of how the process can be structured in your classroom:

Barabara provides specific examples of how to use primary sources as part of each of the six steps in the process. Other articles in the issue include research on Inquiry Learning, other materials / resources as well as elementary and secondary lesson plans.

Head on over. The content is three years old but still very relevant to what we’re trying to do in Social Studies.

Tip of the Week – LOC Document Analysis Tool

There are lots of document analysis tools out there. The National Archives have some awesome analysis worksheets that can be downloaded in PDF format and completed traditional paper / pencil style. The NARA versions can also be completed online and printed out.

There are also other sites using a variety of worksheets out there that you can use while integrating primary / secondary sources into your instruction.

But I just found out that the Library of Congress has upgraded its own version of the document analysis worksheet. They’ve always had very nice worksheets for a variety of primary sources. And I’ve always liked their guiding questions for students and their suggestions for extended activities.

The upgrade?

A web-based data entry worksheet that allows you and your students to create your analysis online for a wide variety of sources. You can then print the worksheet out or download your work as a PDF? The worksheet provides the same guiding questions and suggested activities, just in a slicker, web-based way.

The other cool thing is that it also works on mobile devices including the iPad and iPod. If you have iBooks (or some other document reader like Notability), your students can save their work on a iBooks shelf as a PDF – referring back to it as needed.

Pretty cool stuff. The best of both worlds. Traditional paper and pencil and 21st century paperless.

And don’t forget to go back and review the Library’s very awesome Using Primary Sources site. Tons of handy resources, ideas, and activities there.

Have fun!


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