A Beginning Asynchronous Individualized Course of Study

Introductory Video

The Library of Congress is a treasure house of American culture. Curators and experts from the Library staff describe the breadth and depth of the Library's collections and services in this video co-produced with the History Channel.


The Teaching With Primary Sources Eastern Region Program at Waynesburg University developed the following brief tutorials for educators on how to search, retrieve, cite and use primary sources to support inquiry learning. The first six tutorials focus on Library of Congress features and tips for navigating. Tutorials 7-11 are teaching strategy examples for using primary sources in the classroom. The last tutorial introduces you to the TPS Teachers Network, an online community of educators who share their ideas and questions about TPS. The tutorials may be used for individual exploration or educators may register with the TPS ER Program at Waynesburg University to complete the class individually and receive individual feedback and a certificate of completion from a TPS ER facilitator. Register here.

Library of Congress Features and Navigation Tips

Tutorial I: Teachers Page Take a tour of the Teachers Page feature at the Library of Congress to see the wealth of lesson plans, primary source sets and other resources selected or created for teachers by teachers.

Tutorial 2: Searching This tutorial demonstrates searching from the Library of Congress Home Page using the Global Search Engine first and then narrowing the search by availability, format, date, location, and subject.

Tutorial 3: Copyright and Citations This tutorial explains how to find the copyright restrictions for a primary source and how to properly cite the source in Chicago, APA or MLA style.

Tutorial 4: Exhibitions Both current on site exhibits and archived past exhibits are a great place to look for primary sources selected by the Library's expert staff to reflect a specific topic such as Jacob Riis: Revealing “How the Other Half Lives”.

Tutorial 5: Collections This tutorial will take you even deeper into the Library's archives so you may narrow your search by theme. Collections often include articles and essays written by experts in the field that provide historic context for primary sources.

Tutorial 6: Supporting Inquiry With Primary Sources Discover how primary sources align with the Stripling Model of Inquiry in this series of very short classroom video clips depicting New York City PS 153 teachers and students.

Teaching Strategies Using Primary Sources

Tutorial 7 Primary Source Analysis Tool : The Library of Congress Education Outreach department created an analysis tool student worksheet aligned with the Stripling Model of Inquiry. This tutorial will take you through the teacher guides and the online interactive form for student use.

Tutorial 8 Hide and Seek on Mulberry Street: Check out this strategy that asks students to "jump into" a 1900 street scene and discover history from a personal perspective.

Tutorial 9 Circle of Viewpoints: This strategy was adapted by the TPS Eastern Region staff using one of Project Zero's visual thinking routines. It supports students as they look at historical events through different perspectives.

Tutorial 10 Reading Portraits: This tutorial applies the National Portrait Gallery's suggestions for Reading Portraits to two collections of portraits at the Library of Congress, Presidents and First Ladies , and the Van Vechten Collection.

Tutorial 11 Question Formulation Technique (QFT): A strategy for turning the inquiry process upside down by giving students the power to ask their own questions using a primary source as a Question Focus.

TPS Teachers Network

Tutorial 12 TPS Teachers Network: This tutorial will walk you through the steps for joining our national TPS network to exchange ideas and find new resources for teaching with primary sources.

Read and Write About It

Each tutorial will end with READ IT! and WRITE ABOUT IT! sections in which you will have the option to go directly to loc.gov to read an article or blog and explore a special library feature. If you are taking this as an online professional development course for credit, you will be asked to write your reflections in a journal or on a discussion board for facilitator feedback. Your instructor will give you directions for how to post or email your reflections.

Banner Image Citation: Fowler, T. M. & Moyer, J. B. (1897) Waynesburg, Greene County, Pennsylvania, 1897. [Morrisville, Pa., T. M. Fowler & James B. Moyer] [Map] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/75696554/.

Contact: Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region directed by Barbara Kirby at Waynesburg University, Last updated by Ann B. Canning on July 2017.