Uncovering Our History: Teaching with Primary Sources

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8 12"
  • Description
  • About the Author

Using primary sources to teach history, which goes beyond rotememorization of dates and facts, has been incorporated into the educational standards of nearly every state. For overburdened K–12 teachers, librarians, and media specialists, complying with those standards is easier said than done.

In this useful handbook, expert/author Susan Veccia offers readers practical ways to incorporate these standards into their curriculum, using the resources of the Library of Congress's American Memory Website. This national treasure and resource for bringing history alive is home to over 100 digitized collections of primary sources—more than 7.5 million documents!

While the wealth of information on this site is freely available, its magnitude can seem overwhelming. This hands-on insider's guide helps educators and librarians navigate the information and learn when, where, and how to incorporate these online primary documents into the curriculum. The author along with four contributors—three teachers, one librarian—share practical lessons and personal stories that illustrate:

  • How American Memory resources can be used to teach history, information literacy, and critical thinking in elementary, middle, and high schools
  • Tips for integrating primary sources into the classroom
  • Ways to overcome student difficulties with original materials
  • Historical methods that engage students in the big questions

Experience shows that immersion in the stories of our nation using primary documents illuminates the past and builds genuine interest in a way that textbooks cannot. Veccia and her contributors help classroom teachers and librarians grasp the tools and methods to use this refreshing and effective approach to teaching history.

Susan H. Veccia

Susan H. Veccia is currently working as an education, library, and editorial consultant after retiring from a 20-year career at the Library of Congress. Deeply Involved with LOC's digital initiative since 1994, she managed its aggressive educational outreach program, designed to make primary source materials about American history and culture available and understandable to K–12 librarians, teachers, and students. She is founding editor of MultiMediaSchools.