Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Can I use primary sources with elementary students?

Posted on: November 24, 2014

children_teeter_totter

Phelps Kindergarten students on teeter-totters, Winona, Minnesota

Of course!  It’s all about finding the right resources, starting small, and creating connections. Photos are an ideal starting place. For example, children can relate to pictures of other children their age and want to talk about what they see. I love this 1920 photo of children on a teeter totter!

The Library of Congress Teachers’ Page has several “ready to use” primary source sets that will help busy teachers looking for ideas. Children’s Lives at the Turn of the Century has photos of children at work and play, “1904 Baby Parade” (movie) and an image of a game depicting cities.

School_Children_Thanksgiving

School Children’s Thanksgiving Games 11/27/11. Library of Congress

Thanksgiving has photos and documents appropriate to the day. Symbols of the United States has posters, sheet music, cartoons, and photos with recognizable symbols of the United States.

Many State Memory Collections have teachers guides that will work in classrooms everywhere.  The Field Trip to the Pumpkin Patch and Families Then and Now from Minnesota Reflections are two examples that could be paired with the primary source sets or used alone. Visit your State’s Memory Project!

Kindergarten Historians: Primary Sources in an Early Elementary Classroom from the Teachers Page Blog explains how students were hooked by two old movies.

Picture books or early reader chapter books and primary sources complement each other well. Kate DiCamillo: Stories Connect Us, also a blog post,  includes book titles and related primary sources. There are some ideas for connecting primary sources with picture books  in Primary Sources–Enriching the Study of Historical Fiction (Internet@Schools, Nov. 2014)

A great way to gather an arsenal of ideas is to subscribe to the Teacher’s Page blog.  Weekly updates are full of ideas! Subscribe by RSS or email!

Making Learning Interactive (The New Media Center, Column,  Internet @ Schools, March/April 2015)

 

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1 Response to "Can I use primary sources with elementary students?"

[…] References ~ Horan, Nancy. Under the Wide and Starry Sky Ballantine, 2014 ~ Stevenson, Robert Louis, A Child’s Garden of Verses, World Publishing 1946, illustrated by Alexander Dobkin. ~ Stevenson, Robert Louis, A Child’s Garden of Verses, Scribner, 1895. ~ Songs from A child’s Garden of Verses.  Poems   paired with music by Natalie Curtis. Wa Wan Press, 1902 ~  How can I Use Primary Sources with Elementary Students? […]

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