Teacher’s Guides and Analysis Tools
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The Library of Congress has developed a tool for analyzing primary sources and other media. The tool has three columns for students to record observations, reflections, and questions. At the bottom on the tool, there is a box for students to write notes about next steps for further investigation. To support teachers’ use of this tool, the Library of Congress has also developed a teacher’s guide for using the tool with eleven different types of media and sources of information (e.g., primary sources, photographs, newspapers, oral histories).
The Library of Congress primary source analysis tool could be incorporated in a variety of lessons across subject areas. The teacher’s guides provide prompts and activity suggestions that teachers can use to guide students’ analysis of a particular source. When making observations about a newspaper, for example, the teacher’s guide suggests telling students to “describe what you see” and asking questions like: “What do you you notice first?” “What text do you notice first?” and “What details indicate when this was published?”