Tag Archives: Primary Sources

Postcard History

A few months ago I subscribed to a site called Postcard History. It has some terrific images for students to explore the differences between the past and present. It also has some fascinating historical tidbits. For example, today’s article is about the kidnapping of a child in 1909. The writer of this piece has dug into the history and presented a great deal of information about the event. While this is a secondary source, they mention this story was all over the newspapers. It would be relatively easy to find useful primary sources to explore. I can imagine a story like this could be a springboard to discuss schooling, transportation, geography, and more. Here’s the postcard.

The caption reads:
Willie Whitla, Sharon, Pa., kidnapped March 18, 1909.  Returned to his parents March 22, after payment of $10,000 ransom.  Kidnappers arrested the day after in Cleveland, Ohio, and money recovered.”

Read more about this event in the article entitled Billy Whitla, Kidnapped Child.

The Declaration of Independence

The National Archives has an interesting and informative blog entitled Pieces of History. In it, primary sources are regularly highlighted. Last year they wrote about the Dunlap Broadside printed on July 4, along with the real-time proceedings of that day inscribed in volume 3 of the Rough Journal of Congressional proceedings.

This year they wrote about the Binns engraving of the Declaration of Independence that was created in the surge of nationalism following the War of 1812.

You can learn more about the Declaration of Independence at America’s Founding Documents.

The National Archives also has a wealth of resources for Independence Day.

Primary Source Assignment

It seems that we’ve been hampered by bugs and COVID in the last week. I’m sorry that we missed so many of you during our visit to the library Wednesday. We stayed much longer than expected but learned about so many amazing resources.

I have decided to make some changes to your primary source assignment to make it more manageable for all.

  • First, I’m going to integrate your primary source assignment into your digital toolbox. Instead of limiting your options to the WWII letters, you may choose any primary source(s) in the university collection that will enhance the study of content in your chosen grade level. This means you will need to add a page to your digital toolbox for this piece.
  • Second, you will not need to write a lesson plan for this component unless you choose to make this one of your two lesson options. I will let you make that decision.
  • Third, you will need to include digital images and descriptions for 2-3 items (at a minimum). Similar to other pieces in the toolbox, your narrative description should explain the connection to a particular SOL or set of SOLs and explain how you envision using the pieces.

I will include all of this updated information on the digital toolbox assignment page. I will also include links to the available UR resources.

Here is a link to the PPT we viewed during the session.

Here are links to some of the resources we learned about.