Start with the source!
The Inquiry with Library of Congress Sources Hub has emerged from a collaboration with C3 Teachers, North Carolina State University, and the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Regional Program, Eastern, Midwest and Western Regions. The Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program encourages teachers to begin the inquiry design process with a source from the Library of Congress
Image credit: Bushnell, E. A. (1920) [The sky is now her limit / Bushnell 20]. [Aug] [Image] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/
The Teaching with Primary Sources C3 Teachers collaboration features inquiries designed using sources from the Library of Congress.
Sources at the Library of Congress have provided inspiration for the development of the following inquiries. Each of these inquiries provide teachers with the questions, tasks, and sources needed to start the process of implementing in the classroom. In addition to these print versions, all of these inquiries are available in the IDM Generator where you can make your own copy of the inquiry and create student assignments that can be completed online.
Presidential Personalities and Campaign Issues Past, Present, and Future – Download here
American voters select a president based on personality, leadership abilities, a position on key issues, and political experience. This inquiry will ask students to take a close look at the four presidents that appear on Mount Rushmore and determine what made them great. Representing different political parties, a study of these four presidents will provide a non-partisan foundation for understanding the role of the U.S. Presidency and the political issues a president will face in 2020.
Whiskey Rebellion – Download here
Historic Monuments reflect the collective memory that surrounds a person or event at the time the monument was erected. In this sense monuments are primary sources and corroborate or refute written historical accounts of past events. This inquiry starts with a monument erected in 2009 in memory of three unnamed rebels who fought in the Whiskey Rebellion. These working class poor frontiersmen have not been included by mainstream historians who recall this event in a nostalgic tribute to our first president. This inquiry will use primary source documents from both time and place to recreate the untold story of the Western Pennsylvania frontiersmen who felt oppressed by the Eastern wealthy elite class in power in 1791.
Middle East Conflict – Download here
This inquiry features 10 editorial cartoons published in an exhibit from the Library of Congress titled Pointing their Pens: Herblock and fellow cartoonist confront the issues. The cartoons illustrate Middle East politics in the 1950s and 1960s. This inquiry focuses specifically on the conflict in the Middle East and features 10 cartoons depicting the challenges facing the region in the period. The cartoons from the exhibit make clear the struggle to secure peace in the Middle East was wrapped up in Cold War politics, made even more difficult by a consistent flow of weapons into the region. The inquiry includes three supporting questions, each focused on a different aspect of the conflict – the players in the conflict including those outside of the Middle East, the military circumstances of the conflict, and efforts at peace.
Jane Addams – Download here
This inquiry evolved from a secondary source at the Library of Congress designed for young learners and called, Meet Amazing Americans. Jane Addams is described in this feature as courageous, successful and beloved. It seemed contradictory that Jane Addams was not included in a Comic Book feature for real life Wonder Women in the 1940s and 50s so we have raised the compelling question, “Was Jane Addams a Wonder Woman in History?”
The Long Civil Rights Movement – Download here
This inquiry examines the Civil Rights Movement as an unfolding series of historical events and actions stretching from the U.S Civil War to the present. Using Jacquelyn Dowd Hall’s or other historians’ notion of a “Long” Civil Rights Movement, students. examine events and actions before, during, and after the traditionally framed civil rights movement of 1954 to 1965.
Booker T. Washington in the White House – Download Here
This inquiry examines the White House dinner between the influential African American educator Booker T. Washington and President Theodore Roosevelt, during his first month in office. Sources provide students an opportunity to analyze how the newspapers of the time- Mainstream Northern, Southern and African American- reported on and reacted to Booker T. Washington’s Dinner with Theodore Roosevelt at the White House in order to gain an understanding of the purpose and significance of the dinner itself, but also insights into race relations during the era of Jim Crow at the opening of the 20th century.
Cherokee Removal – Download here
The forced relocation of the Cherokee from their home in the southeast United States to Indian territory over 1,000 miles to west is one of the most controversial episodes in American history. This inquiry blueprint asks the compelling question – “Was the Cherokee removal fair? Through the examination of sources from the period, students grapple with the complexities of Cherokee removal and make an argument about where the Cherokees were treated fairly.
Performing Artists: Champions of Change – Download Here
This inquiry integrates the humanities into a social studies lesson by examining the music and lyrics of protest music as well as dance performances from the Civil Rights era to contemporary times. Music and dance performances are analyzed in this inquiry as historical artifacts. Songs, dances, drama, and art can all evoke a mood or inspire a thought. They open a window into another period of time by expressing beliefs that are important at that particular time. The Arts can bring the past to life and help students understand history emotionally as well as intellectually. The Library of Congress Folklife Center provided extensive resources for this inquiry.
Civil Rights Songs – Download Here
Music often helps individuals express their emotions, passions, and solidify opinions about an event or social issue. Protest songs serve as a means to combat social ills and cover a wide array of topics, including racism, sexism, poverty, imperialism, environmental degradation, war, and homophobia. This inquiry makes a connection to popular culture by asking students to to research and analyze contemporary and historic protest songs. Through class sharing, small group work , as well as individual input, students will respond to the compelling question.
World War II Japanese American Internment – Download here
The internment of Japanese Americans is a key part of our World War II curriculum in 8th grade. It is also a topic that has strong parallels with current event issues with video/internet/phone surveillance of American citizens in the post 9/11 world live in today. The issues that were raised during WWII around national security and civil liberties are being questioned today, as well.
Citizen Efforts to Change Environmental Policy in the Late 1800’s – Download here
This is a cross curricular approach to investigate grass roots political efforts. Grass root political efforts are not new to our democracy and yet they are still used today. In this inquiry, students will analyze sources about a successful grass roots political effort that began in the late 1800’s by women to pass the Migratory Bird Act of 1913, even while in most states they did not have the right to vote.
The following additional inquiries also feature sources from the Library of Congress and were adapted from our 2014 TPS funded Teaching with Inquiry project
TPS inquiries have been implemented for three years now in Greg Giardina’s 8th grade social studies classroom in Sacred Heart Elementary School, Pittsburgh, PA.
Greg has implemented two inquiries and reports that they have changed both his teaching and the classroom environment. The Cherokee Removal inquiry was designed in 2013 before C3 was introduced in our classes but later was converted to the c3 IDM format. Greg reported that class discussion and work with the primary sources was spirited and insightful. Student summative essays were outstanding evidence based arguments and they asked for more inquiries. The following year Greg repeated the Cherokee Removal and added an inquiry about The Long Civil Rights Movement. This second inquiry in the C3 format went from source analysis to claim to action and the students outshone their predecessors. When interviewed, students compared the small group inquiry work with to the “real world” because they could relate to the primary sources and collaborate on a meaningful action plan. Greg’s goal is to have four inquiry units of study for his 8th grade Social Studies class next year.
Link to student reflection video for Civil Rights Classroom Implementation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypd4PbpQgKI