As promised, we're doing occasional posts on primary sources available from the online collections of the Library of Congress.
The first one jumped right into one of those collections, Prints and Photographs.
Today we're backing up to provide an overview of the Teachers home page, which is great for informal educators too.
At right is the Teachers menu; click on it to visit. Where you begin depends on what you need. There's too much to tackle in one post so here's a sample featuring examples related to place- based learning.
Most immediately relevant to this year's THV institute, In Conflict and Crises, may be the journal in the TPS Partners section. (TPS = Teaching with Primary Sources.)
"Using Primary Sources to Teach the Hudson Valley," workshops organized by THV and the Southeastern New York Library Resources Council, are scheduled for five Saturdays beginning January 12 and consecutive days in July 2013 at SENYLRC in New Paltz. Applications will be available this summer. Workshops are made possible by the Library of Congress Teaching With Primary Sources Program, Eastern Region, Waynesburg University.
The current issue is The Civil War Across Disciplines. Institute participants will receive a paper copy of this 8-page resource but it's also available online. I'd also recommend an article from an earlier issue, "Thinking Like an Historian," by Sam Wineburg, a professor of education and history at Stanford.
In addition, the summer 2008 issue featured an elementary level activity, "Taking a Closer Look at Slavery: Historical Print Advertisement Analysis," that can be easily adapted for place-based education. In fact Historic Hudson Valley, with support from the Journal News, LoHud.com, and Newspapers in Education, developed a related project, "Pretends to Be Free: Imagining Runaway Slaves," as part of a 16-page booklet, Slavery in the Lower Hudson Valley (2006).
The Professional Development section is a great place to start if you're new to the Library's website. Among its features are six self-directed on-line modules including an overall introduction to the LOC; three practical issues related to using primary sources--how they support inquiry, copyright, and finding what you need; and two introducing specific collections with ideas for the classroom--Prints and Photographs (see our earlier post) and Maps.
If you take your time and explore each module equals about one hour of professional development. If you don't need the hour, you can do them more quickly while still getting a handle on what's there. A printable certificate of completion is available.
Classroom Materials is probably the most extensive part of the LOC Teacher section. Among its elements are:
Alphabetized lesson plans searchable by topic or era with materials for both teachers and students. I especially liked one for high school, "Exploring Community through Local History," which uses local culture, landmarks, and more to teach interview and research skills, analysis, and interpretation. "Creating a Primary Source Archive: All History is Local," which uses LOC's American Memory collection would also be great for place-based education.
Themed resources connect you to lessons, primary sources, and more organized around key topics. Given this year's institute theme of Conflict and Crises, I was immediately drawn to the Civil Rights and Civil War sets but their size and sweeping nature could make them tough to regionalize. Themes called Labor and Nature & the Environment seemed more manageable for place-based work.
Within Labor I noted a set of maps, songs, photos, and political cartoons about the industrial revolution, the topic of Gwen Kopeinig and Diane Moller's Thursday workshop. Meanwhile, Nature & the Environment features a chronology of the conservation movement that I bet will dovetail nicely with institute presentations on the development of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission and the Storm King case.
Primary source sets, all aligned with standards, include downloadable teacher's guides, a student's analysis tool, and more. There's a set for each state, but the New York seems mostly focused on the City--a disappointment for place-based educators in our region. Among the sets related to this year's institute theme are Women's Suffrage, the Industrial Revolution in the U.S., and Veterans' Stories: Struggles for Participation.
I could go on, but this is already too long. E-mail us if there's something you'd like to see covered in future posts on Library of Congress resources. We'd also like to know about items you discover related to the Hudson Valley and your tips on navigating the LOC. Thanks!
The ribbon shown above is part of the Miller NAWSA Suffrage Scrapbooks, 1897-1911, in the Library of Congress American Memory collection. It was worn by a delegate to the 30th Anniversary of the New York State Woman Suffrage Association, which met in Hudson, NY, November 1898. Additional details at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.rbc/rbcmil.scrp1003402.