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Teaching Resources

Welcome to the Emerging America resource library. Browse our ever-growing collection of primary source sets, lesson plans, classroom assessments, and more, developed by teachers and edited for quality and consistency. Use the controls in the blue box to search and filter by Type, Subject, Time Period, and Grade Level. NOTE: Use the website search engine (above) to find resources–such as apps and curriculum from other organizations–that appear only in the blog.
Using this chart, students confirm knowledge or challenge misconceptions.

A Tool to Challenge Misconceptions

The point of the RAN Chart is for students to research and confirm or correct their ideas for themselves! (Thus the RAN Chart improves on the old "KWL" chart.) 

Step 1: Draw the RAN Chart on a whiteboard or smart board, or build from note cards or post-its. Ideally, leave the RAN Chart up through throughout an investigation. Create…

Hand-drawn diagram lists ideas around a central document.

Prior to investigating a source, students examine the variety of people and groups that would interpret the source differently. Members of the class brainstorm to arrive at a list of all the different viewpoints, then one by one speak from the perspective of the varying stakeholders. This thinking routine, published by the Visible Thinking project at Project Zero, helps students consider the…

Inquiry steps listed in a circle.

The Stripling Inquiry Model represents the inquiry process graphically to help students make sense of the inquiry process.  The Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program has helped to popularize the model. Find an in-depth discussion of inquiry and links to additional models and resources at Emerging America's Inquiry Strategies page. 

 

Screen cap shows one quarter of a photo.

A way to spur inquiry and close observation is by examining one quarter of the primary source at a time.This six-minute exercise gives students a chance to focus in on particular details of the source. Having students write notes about each quadrant helps students to generate ideas and text fragments they can use in their writing; the partial view makes it easier for students to make notes…

Students huddle over a map.

The Library of Congress teacher Primary Source Analysis Tool helps students learn the skills of inquiry. The Library of Congress Teachers page suggests prompts to analyze: maps, film, oral histories, newspapers, political cartoons, books and other printed texts, sheet music, photographs and prints, manuscripts, and sound recordings. …