Using the Library of Congress in Your Classroom

| April 18, 2012

If you are looking for ways to incorporate primary source materials into your classroom, make the most of historical documents, or make better use of one’s library’s archives, The Library of Congress has created a set of handy online guides with explicit instructions for doing each of these things. As you may (or may not) be aware, the Library of Congress holds vast collections of historical archive materials–photographs, maps, documents, etc–and so their online guides offer advice (and lesson plans) for using their own materials.  For instance, under themed resources, one can find a variety of tools for teaching students about Abraham Lincoln using their digitized archive on Lincoln, which includes photographs, correspondence, speeches, and commentary. Or they have a series of presentations and activities on topics like From Slavery to Civil Rights or Interviews with Today’s Immigrants. Each of these lessons or activities comes with a description of which education standards in which states the material meets and a description of which age it’s appropriate for.  These lesson plans are useful in their own right; they may also give educators ideas about how to use their local library or university library’s archives.

Find the lesson plan menus here: