Library of Congress Online Conference – Unlocking the Power of Primary Sources

logo-locThe Library of Congress is hosting a free online conference October 27-28 on how to use primary source documents. The event will feature a keynote address from photographer Carol Highsmith, plus 15 sessions on a range of topics. Registration is open now on the Library of Congress web site. Here is a full listing of the topics:

Register for individual sessions by selecting titles below.

Tuesday, October 27

4:00 – 4:50pm

Keynote: Preserving Our Communities with Photography
Join renowned photographer Carol Highsmith in a conversation with Chief of the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division, Helena Zinkham. Explore the reaches of Highsmith’s archive as she discusses her work and her motivation for dedicating the rights to the American people for copyright-free access.

5:00 – 5:50pm

Veterans History Project
The Veterans History Project (VHP) collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. Hear from Monica Mohindra from VHP on how your students can become involved in using and collecting stories from veterans in your community.

Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions
When students learn how to ask their own questions, they both practice a foundational research skill, and set a learning agenda and prepare to work more effectively with a range of primary sources. This session offers an experiential introduction to the Question Formulation Technique, a protocol to help students become question-askers, sophisticated thinkers and self-directed learners.

6:00 – 6:50pm

Working with Visuals
A photograph, poster, drawing, or painting always has more than one story to tell. It may document a moment in time, but it also may offer an opinion on that event through the choices of the artist. Information literacy demands observing visual sources, questioning, and comparing the information from multiple sources. Join Library staff for approaches to researching with photographs.

Reading Like a Historian
This interactive session will explore the Stanford History Education Group’s Reading Like a Historian curriculum and the research behind this free online resource. Participants will examine a sample lesson plan and consider how to implement these materials in their classrooms.

7:00 – 7:50pm

What’s New at the Library of Congress?
Join Library staff for lightning updates on new and enhanced features: teacher tools, professional development; primary sources; world culture artifacts; current legislation; social media; community connections and partnerships. Share discoveries!

Beyond the Bubble: A New Generation of Historical Thinking Assessments
During this interactive session, participants will learn how to use free online assessments designed by the Stanford History Education Group that incorporate documents from the Library of Congress’s archives. Participants will examine assessments, rubrics, and sample student responses.

Wednesday, October 28

4:00 – 4:50pm

Teaching the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Primary sources can engage students in developing a deeper understanding of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its historical context. Education experts will guide participants in considering audience, context, and point of view when identifying primary sources to teach about the civil rights movement.

Provoking Inquiry Through Primary Sources
As educators, we have answered the question: Why inquiry? This session will engage participants in answering the question: Why use primary sources during inquiry? We will investigate ways that primary sources bring inquiry alive in our students: creation of intellectual space, building authentic connections to the real world, integration of inquiry skills, and the development of empathy.

5:00 – 5:50pm

World Digital Library
Imagine giving your students free, unlimited access to treasures from cultural institutions from around the world. They might examine an ancient manuscript for small but important details and then learn more about its significance from an expert, or search for additional items from the same time or place. Join Library experts to learn more about free primary sources from the World Digital Library.

Young Learners Explore Library of Congress Images
This presentation describes research-informed strategies to foster early childhood and primary grade students’ multiple literacies through the developmentally appropriate use of primary sources from the Library of Congress.

6:00 – 6:50pm

Teaching with Historical Newspapers
Join the Library of Congress education and newspaper experts to learn about the digitized historic newspapers available through the Chronicling America program. Explore teaching strategies for using the materials with students.

Building Literacy Muscle with Primary Sources
Strengthen teaching by incorporating primary sources to build student literacy skills while also engaging them, increasing content knowledge and promoting inquiry. This session shares examples of instructional strategies which use diverse and thoughtfully selected primary sources to develop understanding, academic language and fluency, freeing students to focus on content!

7:00 – 7:50pm

Library of Congress 101 for Teachers
Explore what the Library of Congress has for teachers, including lesson plans and primary source sets, webinars and professional development opportunities, social media channels, and more. Share your top tips and favorite resources, and learn from others.

Making Thinking Visible with Primary Sources
This session will model how to use visible thinking strategies to enhance the power of primary sources in your classroom. A wide variety of easy-to-use routines will be introduced. Two educators will provide examples of how they have used these routines with primary sources to help students learn to think and think to learn.

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