For Educators

Website Goals

The goal of this online resource is not only to support the use of primary sources in the classroom for both teachers and students – but also to encourage a broader re-examination and subsequent discussion of this critical time period in American history, and how its various imprints have shaped the people we all are today.

How the Guide is Organized: Table of Contents

Part One. The Goal: Turn "Learning History" into "Making History" in Your Classroom

Get your students "interested" in learning history by teaching them to think like a historian, using Primary Sources to help imagine the social contexts in which they occurred.

Part Two. The Strategy: The Lesson Framework (adapted from the Library of Congress)

Help students conceptualize what they want to learn about, and make a plan on how to achieve it.

Part Three. The Tools: Locating and Selecting Historical Records That Engage, Inform and Lead to Inquiry

Sure, your students have used the Internet before, but do they know how to go beyond a simple search, how to process and prioritize the more than 9 million items in the Library of Congress? Read some tips to help keep their head above water.

Part Four. Sample Lesson Ideas from the Albion Winegar Tourgee Exhibit Personal Papers and Exhibit

Avoid writer's block and the paralyzation of "where do I start?". This section contains sample lesson ideas you can explore and adapt as your own.


Student Lesson Resources 

Investigate This Document Further #1: Tourgee's Civil War poem to his wife: 'The Wounded Soldier to His Bride' (July 5th, 1963)

Students learn about the use of poetry as a medium of communication in Antebellum America.

Investigate This Document Further #2: Newspaper Bias and Viewpoints (April 20, 1867)

Students learn how to recognize and interpret Bias and Viewpoints using Newspaper articles 
    Worksheet - "It All Depends"
    Worksheet - "Bias In The Media"

Investigate This Document Further #3: Problems of Race Relations in the U.S. after Emancipation

Students learn the passing of a law does not mean everything "magically" falls into place.

Investigate This Document Further #4: What Did They Mean?

Students learn how language (formal and slang) changes over time, and try to decipher and translate words from long-ago to a modern-day equivalent.

Investigate This Document Further #5: Separate but Equal?

Students learn about segregation by comparing the similarities and differences over time, from Emancipation to the 1960's Civil Rights Movement.

If you have any further questions about these educator resources, please contact us.