Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Professional Development > Summer Teacher Institutes and Seminars
collage of images of attendees at Library of Congress Summer Institutes

Primary sources are the raw materials of history — original documents and objects created at the time under study. Used effectively, primary sources can be powerful tools to help students engage, build critical thinking skills, and construct knowledge.

Each year, K-12 teachers and school librarians are invited to apply the Library’s week-long Summer Institutes and Seminars, which focus on strategies for the effective integration of primary sources in the classroom.

Selected participants join colleagues from across the country for five days of high quality professional development in the nation’s capital. Educators across subject areas and grade levels work side by side with Library education specialists and collections experts to develop lessons for use in their classrooms. At program’s end, participants return to their school settings armed with multiple strategies for developing, refining, and implementing lessons with primary source analysis at the center.

Application for the 2015 summer programs will be available in early January.

In 2014, the Library offered five programs: three open Institutes, which offered strategies for lesson design and implementation across the content areas, a fourth with a special focus on Civil Rights, and one Seminar, with a focus on the use of primary sources in science education.