Teaching with Primary Resources

  • Teaching with Primary Sources Initiative - Through TPS Direct, educators can download lessons in PDF format with goals such as Analyzing Photographs, Analyzing Maps, and Connecting with Primary Sources. The professional development and teaching tools help educators identify excellent sources within the Library's collection to build students' critical thinking skills in an engaging way. Given the wealth of information available online, TPS Direct helps make the process of locating ideal classroom materials easier for busy teachers and administrators.
  • Teaching with Primary Resources: The Library of Congress Learning Page - Here is a "teachers eye view" of over 7 million historical documents, photographs, films, maps and audio recordings. You will find lessons, features, activities, and classroom tips on how to use the resources of the Library of Congress to teach with primary and secondary resources.
  • The National Archives: Teaching with Primary Sources Lesson Plans - This section contains reproducible copies of lesson plans and primary documents from the holdings of the National Archives of the United States. The lessons were written by classroom teachers. It also includes analysis tools.
  • Sources of Primary Resources
    American Memory - Millions of digital items that document American history and culture.
    Lyrical Legacies - An in-depth look at unique song and poetry documents from the Library's digital collections.
    Performing Arts Encyclopedia - The Library's collection of scores, sheet music, audio, films and more.
  • Docs Teach - This unique site within the National Archives allows you to search and build your own primary source portfolio as well as create your own interactive activities with them.
  • Today in History - Check on what happened today in History!
  • Using Your Textbook to Teach Historical Analysis
  • American Journeys - American Journeys contains more than 18,000 pages of eyewitness accounts of North American exploration, from the sagas of Vikings in Canada in AD1000 to the diaries of mountain men in the Rockies 800 years later.

    Read the words of explorers, Indians, missionaries, traders and settlers as they lived through the founding moments of American history. View, search, print, or download more than 150 rare books, original manuscripts, and classic travel narratives from the library and archives of the Wisconsin Historical Society.
  • The Antiques Roadshow Teacher's Guides - These guides help educator's integrate material culture into their classrooms. Using artifacts from the show, it presents strategies for teaching and questions to ask on how people make, collect, and use material objects.
  • Milestone Documents - Monthly e-newsletter helps U.S. history teachers engage their students in historical research and understanding. Each issue features activity guides, in-depth analysis, and helpful teaching hints related to important primary source documents. Click the "sign up" button below to have the newsletter automatically e-mailed to you each month.
  • Library of Congress Lessons Created by Michigan Teachers Summer/2008 - These lessons were created as the result of a project between the Midwest Center of the Library of Congress, the Michigan Council for History Education, and Wayne RESA.