I’ve spent part of the last five weeks learning together with teachers from around the country as part of a Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources project. Led by folks at Waynesburg University, the focus is on using Library resources in effective ways. It’s been fun hearing from others about how they search for resources, share strategies, and integrate primary sources into the classroom.
On Tuesday, we spent time discussing some of the most effective integration ideas. The Waynesburg TPS office has posted ten of their favorites online, calling them Primary Source Starter Activities. Read more
All of us want to get smarter. And most of us aren’t too disappointed if we can pick up some some professional learning certification along the way.
If the learning is tied to the Library of Congress and primary sources? Bonus.
The second LOC online conference was last week and it was awesome. Titled Discover and Explore with Library of Congress Primary Sources, the conference focused on using all of the most excellent tools for integrating primary sources into your instruction. There were also sessions that highlighted the best ways to search and use the Library’s website. The conference sessions were streamed live last week but were archived in case you missed things.
You can find sessions on using photographs, the integration of LOC documents and SHEG’s Beyond the Bubble tool, using primary sources in the elementary grades, historical newspapers, civic engagement stuff, and a ton more. There are 15 sessions to choose from so you’re guaranteed to find something that perfectly fits your needs.
To access archived video of the session presentations and any associated handouts, simply go to the conference website and click on any of the session titles.
The front pages of the Library website just got a very cool overhaul. It’s brighter and easier to use with a focus on social media and trending themes. It looks really good. So be sure to spend some time with the conference session highlighting what’s new at the LOC to get caught up with all of the new sweetness.
It really is a noble goal.
I start each June with the idea of working my way through 4-6 books before September that can help me grow professionally and personally. It’s a habit that started way back during my middle school teaching days and it makes a lot of sense – focus intentionally on finding ways to improve my content knowledge and teaching chops.
Of course, it never really happens. I set aside a pile of books – both print and digital – with the best of intentions. But . . . something always sidetracks me from my original list. One year, I got sucked away into a Civil War blackhole. Some years, it’s just that I was too ambitious with my list. Other times, my list turned out to be less than interesting than I thought they would be and I moved onto other titles.
This year? Pretty much the same result – I went four for seven. The theme this summer, of course, was politics and presidential elections. I did actually get through: Read more
Three years ago, Mary J. Johnson, an educational consultant to the Library of Congress, created a two part article on the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog highlighting primary source integration strategies. The first post of the two-part series offered ten suggestions for filling your room with engaging primary sources. I’ve adapted her second post highlighting ways that primary sources promote systematic critical thinking and posted it below. These are starting points for you to adapt for your own grade level and content area.
The point? That the Library of Congress needs to be one of your go-tos, must use, constant companion tool of choice.
(And when you’re done here, be sure to head over and bookmark the excellent LOC blog Teaching with the Library of Congress.) Read more
Three years ago, Mary J. Johnson, an educational consultant to the Library of Congress, created a two part article on the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog highlighting primary source integration strategies. I’ve adapted and posted Part One below.
As a teacher, you can saturate your classroom with primary sources from the Library of Congress to promote critical thinking and inquiry. Think of every surface, including computer screens, as potential display spaces for primary sources – photographs, cartoons, music, films, maps, historic newspapers, artifacts, and more. Add document analysis sheets and critical thinking prompts from the Library’s page for teachers, and you’ll have a constant source of primary source conversation starters at your fingertips.
But what are some specific strategies for introducing primary sources to students? Let’s start with these ten: Read more
If the Library of Congress Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers website is not already part of your go-to primary sources toolkit, put your coffee down and bookmark it already. Chronicling America is a huge collection of digitized newspapers from around the United States published between 1836 and 1925. There are a variety of ways to search the database but no matter how you search, you get visual reproductions of complete newspaper pages that contain your search terms.
Say you want your students to compare and contrast contemporary accounts of the Battle of Gettysburg. Head over to the Chronicling America site, adjust the dates to limit the search to 1863, and type in your keywords of “battle gettysburg.” Over 800 results appear.
I will often filter the results by clicking the “Show only front pages” box and now I’m down to around 200. I also usually select the List view rather than the gallery view to start – I can scan more quickly through the list. (Though the gallery view does Read more