How to use primary sources? Check out LOC’s self-paced teacher PD
Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects which were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience.
Examining primary sources gives students a powerful sense of history and the complexity of the past. Helping students analyze primary sources can also guide them toward higher-order thinking and better critical thinking and analysis skills.
But maybe you’re not sure what to do with them or how to use them in your classroom.
The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program provides primary source-based, independent study professional learning. Earn a certificate of completion by taking the Library’s self-paced interactive modules. Each multimedia-rich program delivers approximately one hour of staff development.
Head over to get the full details or click a link below to jump in with both feet:
Introduction to the Library of Congress
Get an overview of the digitized materials and K-12 resources from the Library of Congress.
Supporting Inquiry with Primary Sources
Teachers and students demonstrate how primary sources can be used to support inquiry learning. Inquiry encourages students to draw on their prior knowledge, personal experiences and critical thinking skills to construct meaning.
Copyright and Primary Sources
Learn how to evaluate primary sources from the Library’s collections for the best use within copyright. Listen to several teachers as they evaluate the use of primary sources for use with their students.
Analyzing Primary Sources: Photographs and Prints
Learn how photographs and prints from the Library’s collections can increase student engagement in the classroom.
Analyzing Primary Sources: Maps
Learn instructional strategies for using maps in the classroom.
Finding Primary Sources
Understand the breadth and depth of the Library’s collections and listen to teachers as they find primary sources for their students.