Primary Sources

a portion of the United States constitution

Tom Bober

Tom Bober, school librarian in Missouri, is an expert on this topic. He has a podcast on this topic here. He also has written a book on it: Elementary Educator’s Guide to Primary Sources, Strategies for Teaching. He has a whole series of posts on this for AASL KnowledgeQuest: Picture Books and Primary Sources He also has a course on School Library Connection on audio/visual primary sources. (let me know if you need the username/password). He has a great presentation linked here too on the Library of Congress.

Follow him on the Twitter, @CaptainLibrary.

More Resources

Article on Primary Sources from Britannica Elementary on KYVL

This resource from the Library of Congress may be helpful too:

Here’s an extensive resource from the Smithsonian Institution.

This is a great overview video of primary and secondary sources.

(image from KYVL)

Ebsco K-8 eBooks

Another option might be to check out the Ebsco k-8 eBook collection on KYVL. Depending on the 5th-grade lesson/topic, I’m sure some of the nonfiction content they have would be great for comparing primary and secondary sources (the eBooks actually being the secondary sources that include primary sources). An example would be this one on Phyllis Wheatley. Here’s another one that might work as a picture book and totally legal to show on the big screen: John Greenwood’s Journey to Bunker Hill by Marty Rhodes Figley.

Another KYVL Option:

I believe KYVL has a trial subscription to Britannica Original Sources. These primary sources are already in “text” form, which makes them a little easier to read. This is the section on the American Revolution, as that is a 5th-grade period: This is a search on “Kentucky” in the same database.

Also, check out PBS Learning Media. It might be easier to search for the exact topic the teacher is wanting to get to rather than searching for “primary sources.” Here are some examples:

Teaching with Primary Sources Inquiry Kits

Code Book:

Articles of Confederation:

6 Free Online Resources for Primary Source Documents By Monica Burns

More resources for teaching primary sources:

Lesson on teaching with: primary sources from the George Bush Library:

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