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Government E-Resources: Primary Sources

Online resources for teaching and learning from Federal Government Agencies

Curriculum Connections: Census in Schools

2010 Census: It's About Us

 

The United States Census Bureau is an important resource for data about the people and economy of the United States. The Census in Schools program promotes data literacy and increases awareness of Census Bureau products and activities by providing educators with teaching tools, resource materials, workshops, and other professional development opportunities.

The materials for schools section provides lesson plans, maps, teaching guides, and other informational materials to help teachers and students learn about the importance of the Census.

Samples:

  • Census for Kids
  • Census for Teens Do you know how many amusement parks or toy stores are in your state, or when your state became a state? Learn the answers and more interesting facts about your state. 

Curriculum Connections: LOC American Memory

Want to add excitement to history?  Let your students read some of Abraham Lincoln's letters written in his own handwriting.

Want to start integrating primary sources but don't know how?  Try "This Day in History."

Want to show your students the value of rough drafts?  Explore a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence and compare it with the original. 

Make the Emancipation Proclamation real in a whole new way by exploring original posters and other primary sources.

 

Image 1 of 1, Proclamation of emancipation. The second DeclaratiImage 1 of 1, 1861-1863; Proclamation of emancipation by the Pre

Explore the original text, handwriting, and musings of Walt Whitman in his entire collection of notebooks.

Explore the history of the American West.  Search for your hometown in American Landscape and Architectural Design.  Compare old maps with new ones.  How has your town changed?

 

 

This is just a flavor of what can be found in the Library of Congress American Memory project.  Consider having students pick a topic and explore on their own!

Curriculum Connections: National Archives and Records Administration

The National Archives is considered "the nation's record keeper," maintaining important governmental and cultural sources. The National Archives provides activities, exhibits, and professional development opportunities for educators, children, and the general public.  You can even friend NARA on Facebook, here.

Explore NARA's "document of the day." (You can even download and receive this on your mobile phone.) 

Find tips on finding primary sources, introducing them to your students, the benefits of primary sources, beginning research ideas, citing primary sources, and more.

Have your students explore the rough draft of F.D.R.'s "A Date that Will Live in Infamy" speech with the final audio and transcript.  Why did he make the changes he made?  This and other documents, standards correlations, teaching activities, and document analysis worksheets are available.

Want to focus primarily on integrating documents?  Visit NARA's specialized site: www.ourdocuments.gov.

Want to help your students evaluate primary sources in a structured way?  Gather up some of these pre-made primary source analysis worksheets, one for each kind of primary source.

Bring your lessons on the U.S. Constitution alive!