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Library of Congress. Teaching with Primary Sources. Welcome. Teaching with Primary Sources Wikispace Join wikispace Participant survey Overview of project Expectations Agenda Norms CSPAN – LOC Video. Essential Questions.

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Library of congress

Library of Congress

Teaching with Primary Sources


  • Teaching with Primary Sources Wikispace

  • Join wikispace

  • Participant survey

  • Overview of project

  • Expectations

    • Agenda

    • Norms

      CSPAN – LOC Video

Essential questions
Essential Questions

  • How can primary sources motivate and engage learners?

  • In what ways do primary sources support inquiry?

  • To what extent can the Library of Congress support teaching and learning?

Leaving evidence of our lives
Leaving Evidence of Our Lives

  • Choose 1 artifact

  • What do these artifacts tell us about you?

  • In small group create a definition of primary sources.

Analyzing primary sources
Analyzing Primary Sources

  • San Francisco Film (1906)

  • Observe, Reflect, Question

Work time
Work Time

Task: Find something in the library that you could use in your educational setting. What questions would you use as prompts? How could you extend the activity? How might you assess student learning? Use Primary Source Analysis note taking sheet on wiki.


How can analysis activities promote inquiry with your students (wiki discussion area)?


Read “Thinking Like an Historian” by Sam Wineburg

What is historical thinking?

Why is it important to do?

What is one question you would like to ask Dr. Wineburg?

Thinking historically
Thinking Historically

“In history courses I took in school we read about history, talked about history, and wrote about history; we never actually did history. If I had learned basketball in this way, I would have spent years reading interpretations and viewpoints of great players, watching them play games, and analyzing the results of various techniques and strategies.”

Levesque, Stephane. 2008. Thinking Historically: Educating Students for the Twenty- First Century. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Thinking like a historian
Thinking Like a Historian

  • What is historical thinking?

  • Why is it important to do?

  • What is one question you would like to ask Dr. Wineburg?

  • High school example

Primary source sets
Primary Source Sets

  • Examine set of materials

  • Individually fill out analysis sheets

  • Name your set of materials – what do they all have in common?

  • Share materials and process with group

  • Discussion: When examining these materials how were you thinking like an historian?

Lesson plans
Lesson Plans

  • Inquiry question(s)

    • Does the question represent an important issue?

    • Is it debatable?

    • Does the question represent a reasonable amount of content?

    • Will it hold student interest?

    • Is the question challenging?

    • What concepts will be emphasized?

  • Backwards design

    • Identify targets

    • Plan assessments

    • Create learning activity

Assessment ideas
Assessment Ideas

  • How do we assess understanding?

  • Sticky Notes - Free program from Microsoft for Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP/2000.

Work time1
Work Time

Task: Develop a lesson you could use that incorporates the use of primary sources. Use the lesson plan format to guide your work. The lesson form can be found on the wikispace.

Share revise post
Share, Revise, Post

  • In grade level groups share lessons.

    • Provide constructive feedback

    • Presenter can provide focus for feedback (help with essential questions, assessment ideas, prior knowledge needed, etc)

  • Revise lesson based on feedback

  • Post lesson to wikispace

Exploring american treasures
Exploring American Treasures


  • Facilitated overview

  • Exploration

  • Task: Using the artifacts from one Gallery answer the questions on the Exhibitions Questions handout (found on the wikispace). Be prepared to share your answers with a partner.

American treasures discussion
American Treasures Discussion

  • How did these questions help you make personal connections to the past?

  • How did choice engage you as a learner?

  • How did different perspectives and experiences play a role in the activity?


  • Reflection: What is one goal you have after taking this workshop? (see wiki discussion page)

  • Next Steps: Now what?

  • Workshop Evaluation: