A Collection of Resources, Ideas, Tools and All Sorts of Things

Developed as a result of the Summer Institute for Teachers

at the Library of Congress 2012

Developed by Gail Lovely



WHY Use Primary Sources with Young Learners?

From the Library of Congress Website:


"Primary sources provide a window into the past—unfiltered access to the record of artistic, social, scientific and political thought and achievement during the specific period under study, produced by people who lived during that period.

Bringing young people into close contact with these unique, often profoundly personal, documents and objects can give them a very real sense of what it was like to be alive during a long-past era."



From Gail:

In my experience young children crave the real world. They want real phones not toy phones and real musical instruments, not toy instruments. Sometimes a drawing or an illustration can serve the purpose, but the depth of detail and level of information about other times, people, and places which can be found in a primary source brings a deeper level of discussion, debate, reflection and understanding to learners of all levels. Instead of depending on authors and illustrators of today to tell our littlest learners what they "need to know" about the past we can bring the past to them through images directly from those who lived in the time period. Because this web resource is to help teachers with not-yet-readers I have chosen to focus on images rather than other forms of primary sources. 

Please contact me with your questions, suggestions, concerns, and disagreements... Gail@GailLovely.com