Primary Source Project: K-5 Working Group

This is a group of K-5 educators convened by ISKME as part of the Primary Source Project. These educators collaboratively create cross curricular lesson plans for grades K-5.
6 members | 21 affiliated resources

K-5 Collected Primary Sources

The Moon

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June 1841, from Robert Merry’s Museum Robert Merry’s Museum children’s magazine (1841-1872) featured works by nearly every 19th century children’s writer. It also excerpted works for adults. Pat Pflieger has indexed several works from the magazine online, and notes that “The Moon”, as a piece, “wanders from lyricism to science to speculation as it explores the effects of the moon on earth, and, evidently, on the human imagination”.

Material Type: Primary Source, Reading

The First Telescopes

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In the early 17th century, craftsmen and scientists introduced a new tool for studying the heavens. The telescope, one of the central instruments of the Scientific Revolution, soon became the astronomer's most essential tool. Now the astronomer could see countless stars and other faint objects never before visible. Suddenly the universe was no longer limited to what the naked eye could see. Read a history of the telescope here.

Material Type: Primary Source

Population Density from the First Census, 1790

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A map of the eastern United States in 1790 showing the western extent of the territories to the Mississippi, and the distribution of European–American population at the time. The map is keyed to show areas of population densities ranging from under 2 inhabitants per square mile to areas with 90 or more inhabitants per square mile.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Primary Source

Drawing of a Raft 02/14/1818

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On February 14, 1818, David Gordon received a patent for his raft design. When a patent is granted, it excludes others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention. This drawing accompanied Gordon’s application.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Primary Source

United States Population Density, 1900

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A map from 1912 of the United States, subtitled "Distribution of Population and Railways in 1900" showing the increase in population and expansion of the railroad network since 1850. The map is color–coded to show population densities ranging from areas with fewer than 2 inhabitants per square mile to areas of 90 or more inhabitants per square mile. Cities with populations over 8,000 are shown with circles proportionate to their populations at the time. The map shows the westward progression of the mean centers of population from 1790 to 1900.

Material Type: Diagram/Illustration, Primary Source

Telegram, Orville Wright to Milton Wright, December 17, 1903

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Following their eventful and highly successful morning, the Wrights had an unhurried lunch and then walked the few miles to the town of Kitty Hawk to send a telegram to their father. With their machine wrecked by the wind and flying done for the season, the Wrights immediately thought of going home for Christmas. The only telegraph equipment in Kitty Hawk was a government wire at the weather bureau office connected to Norfolk, which passed the message on to Western Union. The telegraph operator at Kitty Hawk was John T. Dosher, with whom the Wrights had corresponded more than three years before. Two errors in transmission were made: Orville's name was misspelled and the time of their longest flight was incorrect (fifty-seven instead of fifty-nine seconds). The telegram reached Dayton, Ohio, at 5:25 P.M. and the brothers returned home with their broken machine on the evening of December 23.

Material Type: Primary Source