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The Library of Congress > Teachers > News and Events > News Archive: 2010
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December 2010

detail of lithograph of Washington's entry into New York

A New Look for the Lesson Plans
The Library of Congress lesson plans, which have been a core part of the Library's teacher resources for more than a decade, are sporting a fresh look and a new address.

These lessons, all of which were developed by teachers and tested in classrooms, now have a more consistent structure and a streamlined new look, and are available at The old URLs will only redirect for a few more weeks, so stop by to revisit your favorites and update your bookmarks.


detail of a compass from an old map

Standards and Sharing
Teachers can now find and share Library of Congress teacher resources more easily than ever, thanks to two new tools on the Library's Web site for teachers,

Searching by Standards
Starting today, users can search all of the Library's classroom materials by state standard. Teachers simply select their grade level, state, and subject taught to discover which of the Library's classroom materials (primary source sets, lesson plans, Collection Connections, presentations, and activities) meet the relevant standards. In addition, each individual teacher resource will have a link that will show which standards it meets.

Sharing Resources
It's now easier for teachers to share and save their favorite Library of Congress teacher resources. Every item on the Library's Web site for teachers features a sharing toolbar that lets teachers quickly and easily share or bookmark that item via more than ten different Web 2.0 tools, including Facebook, Twitter, and Digg. This toolbar also provides easy ways to save, e-mail, and print.

Photo of Michael McNelis, age 8 yrs. Old, newsboy

Learn about engaging elementary students with primary sources
The Fall 2010 issue of Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Quarterly is now available. This issue focuses on the theme of engaging elementary students with primary sources. Previous issues on themes including supporting inquiry learning, promoting critical thinking, and using primary sources to differentiate learning are also available in both html and pdf versions through the TPS Quarterly archive.


Photo of a 'Breaker Boy', coal miner

New Primary Source Sets on the New Deal and the Industrial Revolution
Looking for primary sources to enrich student learning? Check out these additions to the growing list of primary source sets, selected primary sources from the rich collections of the Library of Congress on a particular curricular topic. Designed for quick and easy download, each set includes a teacher's guide to historical context, teaching tips and analysis guides, and a graphic organizer to deepen student engagement with these rich artifacts from the past. Here are the newest topics:

The Industrial Revolution in the United States
Maps, songs, photos, and political cartoons tell the story of the United States' transition to an industrial nation.

The New Deal
Photographs, posters, oral histories, and music recount how Federal programs sought to end the Great Depression.

detail of logo from Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature

The Américas Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature
The Hispanic Division and the Center for the Book invites everyone to join them and the Consortium of Latin American Studies program for the awarding of the Americas Award for Children and Young Adult Literature to Carmen Tafolla (author) and Magaly Morales (illustrator) for What Can You Do with a Paleta? / ¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta? and Julia Alvarez for Return to Sender.

The ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 23, 2010 from 10am-noon in the Mumford Room in the James Madison Building at the Library of Congress. The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States. To confirm your attendance please call 202-707-1616 or send a message to [email protected]

Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Celebrate Hispanic American History Month
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have helped shape our country. The website includes information about programs at the various institutions, information on exhibits, audio and video presentations and links to resources for teachers. Of special interest will be the Veterans History Project collection of oral history interviews with Hispanic Americans who have served in our armed forces and StoryCorps Historia where members of the Hispanic community can share their stories and life experiences and have them preserved at the Library.


detail from The Declaration of Independence of United States In Congress July 4, 1776

Constitution Day Resources from the Library of Congress
Looking for resources for Constitution Day activities? The Library of Congress has a variety of sources you can use. Explore the Creating the United States online exhibit and learn more about the impact of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence on U.S. history. Explore the interactive Constitution where students can learn more about the Constitution and origin of important parts of the Constitution. The Learn More will lead you to links to other exhibits, online resources, webcasts and lessons you can use to help students learn more about the Constitution. Also featured are links to resources used during our teacher institutes on the Creating the United States exhibit and our primary source set on the Constitution.

detail of The Mayflower Compact 1620

Summer 2010 issue of the TPS Quarterly Now Available
The Summer 2010 issue of Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Quarterly focuses on the theme of supporting English language learners with primary sources. Previous issues on themes including supporting inquiry learning, promoting critical thinking, and teaching historical thinking using primary sources are also available in both html and pdf versions through the TPS Quarterly archive.

The Dome of the Jefferson Building, The Library of Congress

One Day Teacher institutes in September, October and November
We hope you will come to one of our fall one day teacher institutes.

The Creating the United States Teacher Institutes will be offered on September 10, 11 and 13. The Institute will provide strategies on teaching the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights using Library of Congress primary sources. Participants will leave with strategies and materials they can use in their schools. The institute uses the Library's exhibition, “Creating the United States” as its foundation.

In addition there will be an open house on Thursday, September 9, 2010, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. which will highlight teaching resources on the constitution, opportunities for field trips to the Library and tours of the Library's Young Readers Center.

The Exploring the Early Americas Teacher Institutes will be offered October 30th and November 1st. This institute will help teachers learn strategies to teach about European Explorers in the Americas, the indigenous cultures of Mesoamerica (Maya, Inca, and Aztec) and the cartographic knowledge of the world in the sixteenth century. The institute uses the Library's exhibition, “Exploring the Early Americas” as its foundation.

For more information about these institutes contact the Library’s Interpretive Programs Office using the links provided below.


The Exquisite Corpse Adventure book cover

Listen to the Exquisite Corpse Adventure
Have you been following the Exquisite Corpse Adventure on the Library’s website? Now you can listen to the story as well. The Library has created podcasts for each chapter. Click on the links that say “Hear It” for each chapter.

Want to encourage your students to create their own Exquisite Corpse adventure? Go to and find links to writing activities you can use with your students. In addition, students can enter a contest and have their writing published online and have a visit either online or in person with one of the authors or illustrators of the Exquisite Corpse Adventure.

detail of a child working on a project

Primary Sources in Inquiry Learning
Have you ever wondered what inquiry learning looks like? A new professional development interactive has just been released from the Library of Congress called Supporting Inquiry with Primary Sources. In the hour-long program, teachers and students demonstrate how primary sources can be used to support inquiry learning. Topics covered include:

  • Inquiry Overview
  • Primary Sources and Inquiry
  • Inquiry in Action

Manuscript Reading Room logo

Now Available: Guide for Teachers from the Manuscript Division
Looking for ideas on how to incorporate manuscript materials into classroom activities? There is a new page for teachers on the Manuscript Division website. The page includes links to resources on the Teacher’s Page, suggestions on where to look for manuscript collections on the Library’s website, and a highlighted document from the Library’s manuscript collections. Currently featured are George Washington’s School Copy Books.


detail from design a bookmark

National Book Festival Bookmark Competition
Students in grades K-5 and 6-8 are invited to draw or paint a design depicting the wonder of reading and books, in the Borders 2010 National Book Festival Bookmark Contest. The top prizewinners’ designs will be displayed at their local Borders store and the grand-prize winner’s design will be printed on bookmarks to be distributed at the 2010 National Book Festival. Download an entry form or see your local Borders store for specific contest entry details.

detail of the Minerva mosaic at The Library of Congress

Learn more about Library of Congress Professional Development
During the International Society for Technology in Education Conference (ISTE) in Denver, Colorado on June 29th, Library of Congress staff presented information on its professional development programs for teachers. A special highlight of the session was the introduction of the Library’s fifth online self paced module, "Finding Primary Sources." This hour long self-paced session provides users shortcuts to finding primary sources, tips for planning a search and information to learn more about searching the Library’s website.

copyright symbol

New Online Interactive: Copyright and Library of Congress Primary Sources
Concerned about copyright in your classroom? Try this new online professional development module from the Library of Congress. You'll discover how to evaluate primary sources from the Library's collections so you're comfortable using them in your teaching. Plus, you'll learn about Fair Use, several low-worry ways of using primary sources, and eavesdrop on teachers as they think about copyright.

detail of the Dome of the Jefferson Building, the Library of Congress

Help Archive the Internet
Be among the middle or high schools selected to have students help capture and archive today’s primary source materials on the Web.


American Library Association

Come See Us at ALA in Washington, DC
Are you coming to the American Library Association conference? Come to the Library of Congress on June 25th between the hours of 2-5pm. Several reading rooms will be hosting open houses where you can meet the staff and access the collections. Also from 5-7pm the Library will host tours of the Jefferson Building and the Main Reading Room.

Plus during the conference (June 24-29) the Library’s Sales shop will offer a 20% discount to attending the conference. Just make sure to say “LCALA” when you are checking out.

Those of you interested in our education programming you will have the opportunity to meet Elizabeth Ridgway, the director of the Educational Outreach program, during the Office of Strategic Initiatives open house in the National Digital Library Learning Center between 3-5pm.

detail of the Minerva mosaic, the Library of Congress

HISTORY’s “Modern Marvels” Features Library of Congress on June 10
The Library of Congress is the focus of a one-hour special, “The Real National Treasure,” on the HISTORY channel’s longest-running series, “Modern Marvels,” airing on Thursday, June 10 at 9 p.m. ET. More than 50 staff of the Library and the Architect of the Capitol tell the Library’s story and show the audience the vast array of daily activities of acquisition, copyright, cataloging, security, preservation and serving readers.

You can learn more about HISTORY's Modern Marvels television program at

detail of Clock for the House of Representatives

American Memory Timeline
Need to find primary sources from a specific time period? Use the American Memory timeline to locate resources from the collections. Click on the time period and find an overview of the events from that period. Then click on specific topics within the time period and get an overview of the topic and then links to primary sources of the period.


detail from a letter of a Song Request from a Student

Voices From Afghanistan
Voices from Afghanistan highlights letters sent by citizens of Afghanistan to Radio Azadi, the Afghan branch of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. These letters capture the concerns and hopes of ordinary citizens in Afghanistan living under the extraordinarily difficult conditions of conflict and war. Included are letters from a school boy who complains about the broken window in his school and how the cold keeps him from learning and a school teacher wanting to make sure his students receive instruction from trained teachers. Also included are poems, artworks and stories that highlight the creativity of the Afghan community.


James R. Lowell

Locating Criticism of Individual Poems
It can be tough for students and teachers to find resources that analyze specific poems. This guide suggests some resources available at the Library of Congress that patrons can use to locate scholarly criticism about a poem.

detail from 'The lost found - a scene at the police head-quarters, Mulberry Street, New York'

Poet and the Poem Webcasts
Are you or your students looking for the name of a book or poem? This guide is can help users find a literary work when they know only its plot or subject, or other textual information such as a character's name, a line of poetry, or a unique word or phrase.

Kwame Alexander

Poet and the Poem Webcasts
Interested in having students learn more about poetry and the people who write them? Have them listen to "The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress". This series of one-hour shows features some of the country’s top poets, who discuss and read their poems. Poets included in this year’s series include Poet Laureate Kay Ryan, Kwame Alexander, Martin Galvin, Silvana Straw, Quique Avilés and Lucille Clifton.


collage from the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog

Visit the New and Improved Prints and Photographs Online catalog
Using great images from the Library of Congress just became even easier. The Prints and Photographs Online Catalog has been redesigned and now boasts a new look and powerful new features, such as full-page galleries, savable searches, and easy-to-bookmark pages. Stop by to find new ways to view more than 1 million digitized images from the Library's collections.

This overhaul is going to affect many of the images included in the Library's materials for teachers, so if you notice any misbehaving links over the next few weeks, please bear with us. We'll have them updated in the next few weeks. If you have any questions, use the Ask a Librarian feature on i_alignleft border

Teacher’s Young Reader's Center
The Library of Congress, for the first time in its history, has a space devoted to the reading interests of children and teens in its historic Thomas Jefferson Building. Children and families can come into the Young Readers Center, read some of the many books available or explore the internet to find other reading resources. The books in the Young Readers Center are non-circulating but staff in the center will help users locate libraries in their communities where they can look for books of interest. The Young Readers Center is open from 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed on federal holidays.

Detail of the Minerva mosaic, The Library of Congress

The Educational Outreach Division of the Library of Congress is seeking applications from secondary teachers for a Teacher-in-Residence position during the 2010/11 school year. Learn more about applying

The American Folklife Center logo

Teacher’s Guide to Folklife Resources
Folklife Resources for Educators is an online portal for educators working in K-12 and undergraduate education. It provides access to resources for teaching about aspects of folklife, culture, and the traditional arts, with a focus on place-based and community-based teaching materials. These resources were reviewed by staff in the Library’s American Folklife Center and the curriculum materials listed are freely available and downloadable.

Emilia Earhart, Aviator

Celebrate Women's History Month
The Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution and United States Holocaust Memorial Museum join in paying tribute to the generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society. The website includes information about programs at the various institutions, information on exhibits and links to resources for teachers.

In addition on the Library of Congress Teacher’s Page we are highlighting some of our women's history lesson plans, themed resources and presentations. You can find our Teacher's Page at

Northwest Council for Computer Education

Come see us at the Northwest Council for Computer Education
If you are attending NCCE in Seattle, Washington from March 2-5, 2010 you can meet Gail Petri and Sherrie Galloway who will be participating in the all day NECC 2010 Teacher Librarian Summit on March 3rd from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Gail and Sherrie will also present six one hour concurrent sessions on March 4th and 5th . The sessions are: Teaching With Primary Sources: Audio and Video ; Teaching With Primary Sources: Maps; Teaching With Primary Sources: Photos; Using Books as Hooks to Primary Sources; Differentiation Using Primary Sources; and Library of Congress Teaching With Primary Sources Professional Development System.


Marian Anderson receives the Spingarn Medal from Eleanor Roosevelt

African American Resources within the Digital Collections
Trying to find resources on African American history in American Memory and other parts of the website? This web guide will lead you to resources in Today in History, America’s Library and other sections of the website that focus on the achievements of African Americans.


Katherine Paterson, National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Katherine Paterson named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature
Katherine Paterson, two-time winner of the National Book Award and the Newbery Medal, was named National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by Librarian of Congress James H. Billington on Jan. 5, 2010. Paterson will serve in the position during 2010 and 2011; she succeeds Jon Scieszka, appointed in 2008, who was the first person to hold the title. You can learn more about Patterson and view webcasts of her presentations at the National Book Festival at

Summer Institute

Summer Teacher Institutes
The Library of Congress is now accepting applications for its 2010 Summer Teacher Institutes in Washington, D.C. The four-day institutes will provide educators with the tools and resources to effectively integrate primary sources into classroom teaching. Institutes will take place on the following dates:

  • Session 1 May 11-14, 2010
  • Session 2 June 8-11, 2010
  • Session 3 July 12-15, 2010
  • Session 4 July 19-22, 2010
  • Session 5 July 27-30, 2010
  • Session 6 August 17-20, 2010

There is no charge for the institute or materials but participants must cover costs for travel to Washington, DC and cost for lodging and meals while in Washington.

Although the Library cannot provide college or professional development credits for those participating in the Teacher Institutes, we will provide a certificate of completion.

The deadline to apply for the Summer Teacher Institutes is March 19, 2010.

Poster promoting Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, showing an Amish family

New Journeys and Crossings Webcasts
Journeys and Crossings provides the opportunity for those who can’t get to the Library to experience the personal insights of the staff that work with the collections on a daily basis and know them best. Included with each Journeys and Crossings presentation is a fifteen minute video, featuring a curator talking about the topic, a bibliography and links to on-line resources that will help viewers deepen their research on the topic. New features include information on Amish resources at the Library of Congress and a presentation on the Journals of Pioneer Argonaut, Daniel Jenks.

Detail of teacher and school child

Read the TPS Quarterly
The Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Quarterly provides articles highlighting effective methods to incorporate primary sources in classroom activities. Written by Educational Outreach staff and participants in the Teaching with Primary Sources program, the TPS Quarterly also includes activities teachers can use with their students and highlights teachers who have successfully integrated primary sources into their daily classroom activities. Previous issues of the TPS Quarterly have focused on Technology Integration, Differentiated Instruction, Promoting Critical Thinking, Literacy Integration and Supporting Inquiry Learning. Read the most recent issue at the url provided above and click on TPS Archive to read prior issues.

detail from New-York Tribune logo

Newspapers on Flickr
The Library of Congress has added historic newspaper pages from Chronicling America to its Flickr photostream in the Flickr Commons. This set of cover pages from the New-York Tribune (New York, NY) illustrated supplements beginning with the year 1909. Recent additions to the Flickr photostream include the construction of the Panama Canal, coverage on the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and information on the Chicago Meat Packing industry. In Flickr, you can tag it, add a note, see the set in a slideshow, share it....and even read more about it! Visit the Library’s Flickr photostream to “explore ‘history’s first draft”.