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On the first day

Two teachers working at a summer institute

On the first day at the Library of Congress, I was immersed in learning concrete strategies and activities to engage my students and promote critical thinking using primary sources. By day two I was collaborating with librarians and teachers on a project to implement in my own classroom, and by the end of the week, I had my Reader Card in hand and was scheduling my next visit to the LOC’s various Reading Rooms to push my own thinking as a historian.

Brieanna Samples-Wright, Kindergarten Teacher, Stanton Elementary School, District of Columbia

Outside of the box

Joquetta Johnson

The Summer Institute was meaningful, relevant, and rigorous professional development that pushed me to think not just outside of the box, but like there is no box.

Joquetta Johnson, Library Media Specialist, Pikesville High School, Baltimore, MD

Pay forward my experience

Teachers examining a map

Just this week-no kidding-I've had teachers approach me about primary sources for slavery, immigration at the turn of the last century, and the Vietnam War. I've been able to pay forward my experience at the Institute, and I can't believe the ripples that are being generated!

Jennifer Lance, Librarian, Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, S. Paris, ME

Network of peers

Teacher holding a map

What I didn't expect from the Summer Institute but also got was a network of peers who share my same passions and curiosities. I'm so thankful for the opportunities for collaboration that were provided.

Melanie Salter, Social Studies Teacher, Pilgrim School, Los Angeles, CA

Resources to students of all ages and places

A teacher using a magnifying glass to study a primary source

What really impressed me the most was the inspiration I received from the Library of Congress professionals. These are passionate and caring people dedicated to connecting the Library of Congress - our library - and its resources to students of all ages and all places.

Jim Schneider, Librarian, Schenectady High School, Schenectady, NY

Ownership in their learning

Teachers discussing a map

Whether we are analyzing a map, letter, photograph, newspaper article, or image, I've noticed an amazing level of engagement from my students that I hadn't anticipated. Not only is their participation amazing, but they show a level of ownership in their learning that I don't see every day. When students are asking to take the primary sources home to talk with their parents about them, you know they have embraced their learning.

Tom Bober, Librarian, Captain Elementary School, Clayton, MO

Testimonials from science teachers

Bridge the gap

White board with the heading - Primary Source Activity Plan Topic Ideas

I am now able to bridge the gap between learning about science and doing science. With primary source analysis strategies we learned at the Institute, students worked together, puzzled over possibilities, discussed (and even argued!), and then thought about it outside of science class. This process gave them the opportunity to make connections between science class and their lives!

Danna Szymanski, 8th Grade Science and Language Arts Teacher, Summit Middle School, Edmond, OK

Great scientists are real, three-dimensional people

Teacher explaining his discoveries

I want students to understand that great scientific discoveries are not made in an instant, but happen over an extended and methodical period of scientific inquiry or engineering design process. Through the use of LOC primary sources, these great scientists have now become real, three-dimensional people to my students, with personal lives and motives, instead of merely names in a textbook.

Kevin Tambara, Science Teacher, Bert Lynn Middle School, Torrance, CA