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On telling the story and keeping the record

Someday, our children’s grandchildren will ask them, “What was it like during the Pandemic of 2020?” As they live through history, our students are now, intentionally or unintentionally, creating pieces of our historical record. We might be able to encourage and guide those efforts. And we may consider adding to the record ourselves. While these […]

Teaching with Ken Burns in the Classroom

For more than 40 years, we’ve been privileged to tour history through the rich and creative lens of Ken Burns and his collaborators. The renowned documentarian now presents new ways to incorporate his body of work into learning experiences in our classrooms and libraries. Ken Burns describes the importance of the UNUM project: UNUM is […]

Explore modern history and culture with the American Archive of Public Broadcasting

The American Archive of Public Broadcasting gathers more than 70 years of public broadcasting from around the country. This free resource is a critical tool for studying 20th and 21st Century culture and history. And it is a must-share across content areas and grade levels. A collaboration between the WGBH Educational Foundation and the Library […]

Students as citizen archivists and scientists: The new community service?

It may not be the typical white glove or laboratory experience, but students of history and science can find multiple opportunities to volunteer as citizen archivists or citizen scientists in a few important crowdsourcing efforts. The Library of Congress, the National Archives and the Smithsonian offer parts of their collections to be organized and made accessible by employing the […]

DBQuest and Case Maker: Two more critical thinking tools from LOC!

Alert your social studies and ELA teacher friends or dig in on your own.  This past week the Library of Congress launched DBQuest and Case Maker, two new web and mobile apps that join a suite of digital resources introduced back in 2016. The Library of Congress announcement shared that these new interactive opportunities for middle and high school […]

LOC introduces its Story Maps

Around a month ago, the Library of Congress announced new curatorial strategies for interactive storytelling around its diverse collections with its Story Maps. The stories offer users engaging ways to access these collections and leverage data using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and a new story platform created by ESRI a corporate leader in the areas of […]

DPLA Primary Source Sets

Just in time for instructional planning, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) reminds us that their 100 Primary Source Sets were designed  to help students develop critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture. If you work with middle or high school learners, you’re going to love these sets created by the teachers from […]

In on the joke: Political cartoons and the election

We want our kids to be in on the joke. As I mentioned last time around (or in 2012), presidential elections present ultimate, authentic teachable moments, opportunities for us to exploring a variety of literacies with learners at all levels. Political cartoons are everywhere. These powerful little works of editorial art and sharp, nuanced thinking […]

Shakespeare Documented

This year marks the 400 anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare. One way to celebrate this significant commemoration is to explore Shakespeare Documented, the largest and most authoritative resource for learning about primary sources surrounding the life and career of William Shakespeare.  A collaboration among more than 30 partners including the Bodleian Libraries at […]