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  • Library of Congress
1900 America: Primary Sources and Epic Poetry
Unrestricted Use
CC BY
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This interdisciplinary lesson integrates analyzing historical primary resources with literary analysis. Students work in groups and express themselves creatively through a multi-media epic poem.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/12/2014
The African-American Experience in Ohio, 1850-1920
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This site explores the diversity and complexity of African-American culture in Ohio. These manuscripts, texts, and images focus on themes that include slavery, emancipation, abolition, the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, Reconstruction, African Americans in politics and government, and African-American religion.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
American Memory
Date Added:
06/30/2000
African American Identity in the Gilded Age: Two Unreconciled Strivings
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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Examine the tension experienced by African Americans as they struggled to establish a vibrant and meaningful identity based on the promises of liberty and equality in the midst of a society that was ambivalent towards them and sought to impose an inferior definition upon them.

The primary sources used are drawn from a time of great change that begins after Reconstruction's brief promise of full citizenship and ends with the First World War's Great Migration, when many African Americans sought greater freedoms and opportunities by leaving the South for booming industrial cities elsewhere in the nation.

The central question posed by these primary sources is how African Americans were able to form a meaningful identity for themselves, reject the inferior images fastened upon them, and still maintain the strength to keep "from being torn asunder." Using the primary sources presented here, look for answers that bring your ideas together in ways that reflect the richness of the African American experience.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/23/2021
After Reconstruction: Studying the Problems of African-Americans in the South
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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This lesson encourages students to identify problems facing African Americans immediately after Reconstruction. Students then work in small groups to identify documents describing a particular problem, consider opposing points of view, and suggest a solution and present their research findings.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Ethnic Studies
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/07/2000
Alexander Hamilton
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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Have you ever used a $10 bill, visited an American bank, or studied the United States Constitution? Then, you have encountered, to some extent, the influence of Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804). Indeed, this important figure in the nation’s foundational years assumed numerous integral roles, many of which had an impact on U.S. history, government, and culture. These roles include: writer, lawyer, father, husband, statesman, aide-de-camp, Treasury secretary, and in many ways, an individual with a keen vision for the U.S. that endures today.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Primary Source
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
08/02/2021
American Lives in Two Centuries: What Is an American?
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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In 1782 Jean de Crevecoeur published Letters from an American Farmer in which he defined an American as a "descendent of Europeans" who, if he were "honest, sober and industrious," prospered in a welcoming land of opportunity which gave him choice of occupation and residence. Students will look at life histories from the interviews of everyday Americans conducted by Works Progress Administration officials between 1936-1940 to see if his definition still holds true in this country 150 years later. Students will conclude by working toward a modern definition.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/11/2003
American Memory Timeline
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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This site helps teachers and students navigate the vast online collections of primary source materials at the Library of Congress. The links, arranged by chronological period, lead to sets of selected primary sources on a variety of topics in U.S. history.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
11/02/2000
American Memory from the Library of Congress
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American Memory provides free and open access through the Internet to written and spoken words, sound recordings, still and moving images, prints, maps, and sheet music that document the American experience. It is a digital record of American history and creativity. These materials, from the collections of the Library of Congress and other institutions, chronicle historical events, people, places, and ideas that continue to shape America, serving the public as a resource for education and lifelong learning.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Primary Source
Reading
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
American Memory
Date Added:
04/25/2013
Around the World in 1896
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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This is a lesson in which students take a trip around the world in 1896 using an online collection of 900 images. The collection includes photos of railroads, elephants, camels, horses, sleds and sleighs, sedan chairs, rickshaws, and other types of transportation, as well as city views, street and harbor scenes, landscapes, and people in North Africa, Asia, Australia, and Oceania.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
World History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/08/2003
Baseball, Race and Ethnicity: Rounding the Bases
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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0.0 stars

Students use primary sources focused on baseball to explore the American experience regarding race and ethnicity. The unit should be used when studying the World War II era and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Ethnic Studies
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Bill of Rights
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On 12 September 1787, during the final days of the Constitutional Convention, George Mason of Virginia expressed the desire that the Constitution be prefaced by a Bill of Rights. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts proposed a motion to form a committee to incorporate such a declaration of rights; however the motion was defeated. This lesson examines the First Congress's addition of a Bill of Rights as the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Collections
Date Added:
02/16/2011
A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation, U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873
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This site includes documents from the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention and ratification debates, and the first two federal congresses. These documents record American history in the words of those who built our government.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
American Memory
Date Added:
07/18/2000
Child Labor and the Building of America
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

Students are immersed in primary source materials that relate to child labor in America from 1880-1920 to gain a personal perspective of how work affected the American child within a rapidly growing industrial society. This project is student-driven. Students engage in visual and information literacy exercises to gain expertise in analyzing historical data. Most importantly, students emerge from this experience with a very personal sense that children significantly and heroically affected the building of America.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
01/03/2001
The Church in the Southern Black Community, 1780-1925
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The collection of documents brought together in this project begins to tell the story of the growth of Protestant religion among African Americans during the nineteenth century, and of the birth of what came to be known as the "Black Church" in the United States. This development continues to have enormous political, spiritual, and economic consequences. But perhaps what is most apparent in these texts is the diversity of ways in which that religious tradition was envisioned, experienced, and implemented. From the white Baptist and Methodist missionaries sent to convert enslaved Africans, to the earliest pioneers of the independent black denominations, to black missionaries in Africa, to the eloquent rhetoric of W.E.B. DuBois, the story of the black church is a tale of variety and struggle in the midst of constant racism and oppression. It is also a story of constant change, and of the coincidence of cultural cohesion among enslaved Africans and the introduction of Protestant evangelicalism to their communities.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
American Memory
Date Added:
07/11/2003
The Conservation Movement at a Crossroads: the Hetch Hetchy Controversy
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
5.0 stars

This is a two-part teaching unit about the controversy among conservationists over a proposal to turn part of Yosemite National Park into a dam to furnish water to San Francisco. The first part explores the history of the conservation movement in general, while the second links to primary records, such as Congressional debates, of Hetch Hetchy itself.

Subject:
Environmental Science
Ecology
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/07/2000
The Constitution
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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This site includes images of newspaper articles (1787), notes Washington and Jefferson wrote on drafts of the Constitution (1787-88), Jefferson's chart of state votes (1788), Washington's diaries (1786-89), Hamilton's speech notes for proposing a plan of government, a Philadelphia map (1752), the broadside Bill of Rights (1791), and other artifacts.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
09/21/2005
The Constitution: Counter Revolution or National Salvation?
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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This lesson plan casts students in the role of politically active citizens in 1787, when the Federal Convention in Philadelphia presented the nation with a new model of government. Students, using primary documents from American Memory, produce a broadside in which they argue for or against replacing the Articles of Confederation with the new model of the Constitution.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/11/2003
Explore the States
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An interactive map of the United States with information, interactive activities, and links about all 50 states. The information provided varies from historical, geographical, biological, and cultural in nature.

Material Type:
Interactive
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
America's Library
Date Added:
01/06/2015
Exploring the Stories Behind Native American Boarding Schools
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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In the late 1800s, the United States supported an educational experiment that the government hoped would change the traditions and customs of American Indians. Special boarding schools were created in locations all over the United States with the purpose of "civilizing" American Indian youth . Thousands of Native American children were sent far from their homes to live in these schools and learn the ways of white culture. Many struggled with loneliness and fear away from their tribal homes and familiar customs. Some lost their lives to the influenza, tuberculosis, and measles outbreaks that spread quickly through the schools. Others thrived despite the hardships, formed lifelong friendships, and preserved their Indian identities. Through photographs, letters, reports, interviews, and other primary documents, students explore the forced acculturation of American Indians through government-run boarding schools.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
04/09/2004
First-Person Narratives of the American South
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"First-Person Narratives of the American South" is a collection of diaries, autobiographies, memoirs, travel accounts, and ex-slave narratives written by Southerners. The majority of materials in this collection are written by those Southerners whose voices were less prominent in their time, including African Americans, women, enlisted men, laborers, and Native Americans.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
American Memory
Date Added:
07/29/2005
Found Poetry
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This is a teaching unit that leads students to the famous Federal Writers Project and gets them started writing found poems. Among the examples is a free verse poem written after reading an account of surviving the Blizzard of 1888.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
01/07/2000
George Washington: First in War, First in Peace, and First in the Hearts of His Countrymen
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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0.0 stars

This site consists of three lessons examining George Washington's leadership in the French and Indian War, at the Federal Convention, and as chief executive. They are based on primary source documents from the George Washington Papers, 1741-1799. The lessons are intended for secondary students, grades 8-12. The documents from Washington's Letterbooks include focus questions that may be used in Socratic seminars and in cooperative learning groups.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/25/2000
The Grapes of Wrath: Voices from the Great Depression
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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0.0 stars

This is a lesson in which students examine songs, interviews, and photos of migrant farm workers in California during the Great Depression and then create a scrapbook from the point of view of a migrant worker. Students use photos and recordings of migrant workers to create captions, letters, and songs. This lesson can be particularly useful when students are learning about the Great Depression or reading The Grapes of Wrath.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/10/2003
Great Depression: Dust Bowl Migration
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

includes photos, a teachers guide, and other resources for learning about the largest migration in American history. This migration occurred in the 1930s when poor soil conservation practices and extreme weather in the Great Plains exacerbated the existing misery of the Great Depression.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
04/25/2006
Join America at Play
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Discover America's favorite pastimes, sports and hobbies, including baseball, vacationing, dancing, rodeo, and quilting. Play the "Batter Up" interactive history baseball game.

Material Type:
Interactive
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
America's Library
Date Added:
01/06/2015
Journeys West
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This lesson helps students examine the motivations of people who traveled west during the 1800s, as well as the conditions they encountered, the conflicts between settlers and native people, and policies of the federal government. Students interpret first person narratives and choose a role for in-depth study -- a gold miner, fur trader, pioneer family, Native American, or explorer.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
04/09/2004
Jump Back in Time
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This website takes students through various eras in American History such as Colonial America, the Revolutionary Period, Western Expansion, The Civil War, The Gilded Age, The Great Depression, and Much More.

Material Type:
Interactive
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
America's Library
Date Added:
01/06/2015
The Legacy of French Canadian Immigrants in New England
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

What evidence do we have that French Canadian immigrants settled in New England? Who were these people? Why did they come to the region in such large numbers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? What was life like for them? What values did they bring with them that helped shape the region? Using American Life Histories, 1936-1940 and The Nineteenth Century in Print: Periodicals to answer these questions, students reach an understanding of the impact that French Canadians have had in New England.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
10/19/2004
Meet Amazing Americans
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Discover the inventors, politicians, performers, activists and other everyday people who made this country what it is today. Includes brief biographies and interactive activities associated with historical figures such as W.E.B. DuBois, Amelia Earhart, Lewis & Clark, Mark Twain, George Washington, and many more.

Material Type:
Interactive
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
America's Library
Date Added:
01/06/2015
New Deal Programs: Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

The New Deal programs and agencies, created under the leadership of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, had a powerful impact on the relationship of government to the people of the United States. Yet a study of New Deal programs often leaves the student with a disconnected list of 'alphabet soup' programs and no real grasp of the impact of the New Deal.This lesson takes a student through a process of examining primary sources, both photographs and life histories, to develop a sense of the profound impact the Great Depression had on real people's lives. Then after studying New Deal Programs, students apply what they've learned to improve the situations of those people, whose life history interviews they have read. They synthesize the information gathered into an essay which has both an expository and a creative component. For 10th grade students.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/07/2000
Prairie Settlement: Nebraska Photographs and Family Letter
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This site illustrates the story of settlement on the Great Plains. Family letters of one homesteader express personal insight into the joy, despair, and determination in his struggle to establish a home on the prairie.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
American Memory
Date Added:
01/03/2001
Proceedings of the Rhode-Island Anti-Slavery Convention, held in Providence, on the 2d, 3d and 4th of February, 1836
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Pursuant to a call signed by eight hundred and fifty citizens of Rhode Island, a large number of gentlemen, friendly to the immediate abolition of slavery, assembled in the High Street Congregational Meeting House in Providence on Tuesday, February 2, 1836.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Primary Source
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
Internet Archive, Library of Congress Collection
Date Added:
02/02/1836
Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929
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This collection assembles a wide array of Library of Congress source materials from the 1920s that document the widespread prosperity of the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a mass consumer economy, and the role of government in this transition. It includes nearly 200 selections from twelve collections of personal papers and two collections of institutional papers from the Manuscript Division; 74 books, pamphlets, and legislative documents from the General Collections, along with selections from 34 consumer and trade journals; 181 photographs from the pictorial materials of the National Photo Company Collection held by the Prints and Photographs Division; and 5 short films and 7 audio selections of Coolidge speeches from the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. The collection is particularly strong in advertising and mass-marketing materials and will be of special interest to those seeking to understand economic and political forces at work in the 1920s.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
American Memory
Date Added:
07/25/2000
Ragtime
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This site presents sheet music, essays, and video and sound clips related to ragtime. This distinctly American music appeared (in its published form) during the mid-1890s mainly in the South and Midwest, spread across the U.S. and to Europe, and influenced early jazz styles. Learn about Scott Joplin, one of the best known ragtime players. Hear segments of his classic Maple Leaf Rag, which helped spread the ragtime craze. See more than 100 pieces of sheet music.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Art History
Education
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Date Added:
04/09/2007
Reclaiming the Everglades
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Rating
0.0 stars

Reclaiming the Everglades represents all or part of sixteen 'physical' collections housed in the archives and special collections of University of Miami, Florida International University and the Historical Museum of Southern Florida. This online compilation includes a rich diversity of unique or rare materials: personal correspondence, essays, typescripts, reports and memos; photographs, maps and postcards; and publications from individuals and the government.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
American Memory
Date Added:
05/13/2013
See, Hear, and Sing
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Rating
0.0 stars

Watch a movie, hear a song, play a tune from America's past. Includes an interactive jukebox, an animation program, and historical information about popular entertainment throughout American history.

Material Type:
Interactive
Reading
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
America's Library
Date Added:
01/06/2015
The U.S. Constitution: Continuity and Change in the Governing of the United States
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This lesson, a supplement to a study of the Constitutional Convention, focuses on The Committee of Detail's draft of the Constitution submitted on 6 August 1787. The delegates debated its contents for a month before referring the document to the Committee of Style. The Committee's report, presented to the Convention on 12 September, became the Constitution of the United States.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
02/16/2011
What Do You See?
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This is a lesson in which students analyze a single Civil War photograph and then find and analyze related images. The aim is to help students see relationships between the Civil War and American industrialization.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
Library of Congress
Provider Set:
LOC Teachers
Date Added:
07/07/2000