This issue explores how teachers can use instructional strategies and other supports to facilitate the primary source-based learning of students with disabilities.
The Library of Congress Web site now offers more than 16 million digitized items, many of which are primary sources. Primary sources are the raw materials of history—original documents and objects created at the time under study, such as photographs, maps, prints, manuscripts, sound recordings, and motion pictures. Many primary sources are relevant to the learning objectives of curricula across a range of subject areas and grade levels as well as local and state standards. More importantly, primary sources offer unique learning opportunities for students of all levels, interests and learning styles to connect with content and develop new understandings.
While the use of primary sources can enhance the learning of all students, manifestations of learning, behavioral and/or physical disabilities can limit some students' ability to benefit from the study of primary sources. In this issue’s feature article, the authors present an instructional strategy designed to support students with disabilities and others in their learning with text-based primary sources. Additional ideas, strategies and resources for teaching with primary sources in inclusive classrooms are presented throughout the issue.