Posts Tagged ‘Library of Congress’

Stories of our Veterans

November 5th, 2015


It’s Thursday, November 5, 2015, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:

Veterans History Project (

Age Range: 10-18 (Grades 5-12, with parental supervision)


In 1918, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, Allied nations and Germany formally agreed to temporarily stop fighting, marking the beginning of the end of World War I. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th Armistice Day, a day of remembrance to honor those who lost their lives in the war. In 1954, Congress amended the Act of 1938 that had made Armistice Day a legal holiday, changing “Armistice Day” to “Veterans Day” to honor all veterans.

At this website from the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress, discover the stories of America’s wartime veterans through audio and video recorded interviews and much more.

There are many ways to navigate this website. When you arrive at today’s link, you can learn about the project and how to participate, but the meat of the site is found by selecting the “Search the Veterans Collections” link. From here you can narrow your search to: 

  • By Conflict or Era – WWI, WW2, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Afghan War, Iraqi War, other
  • By Branch of Service – Air Force, Army, Army Air Forces/Corps, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Merchant Marine, Navy, Civilian, other
  • Gender
  • Prisoner of War?
  • Type of Material – audio, video, manuscript, photo
  • Type of Manuscript – correspondence, creative works, dairies, memoirs, transcripts
  • And much more

Once you have refined your search options and selected the “Go” button at the top, a list of matching results will populate. Select the name of the veteran to learn about this person. If there is a “View Digital Collection” button beside the entry, click on this to be taken to the page with the digital content such as an audio or video interview or photographs. Not every entry includes digital content, but those that do provide fascinating first-hand accounts of life in the military and the wartime stories that accompanied their service.

Visitors can also browse collections from the home page by clicking on the “Experiencing War” image to find a special collection featuring vets from World War II. From here, you will also find additional search options to explore more stories. Back on the home page again, use the sidebar menu to select “Man on the Mall Interviews” for brief interviews recorded at the National Mall at the National World War II Reunion in 2004.

Today’s website helps your students learn about the men and women who served our country and to gain a better understanding of why they need to be honored on Veterans Day and always.

History Lessons from the Library of Congress

September 3rd, 2015


It’s Thursday, September 3, 2015, and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!


Recommended Website:

Free History Lessons from Library of Congress


Age Range: 8-18 (Grades 3-12, with parental supervision)


At this link on the Library of Congress’s website you will find a gold mine of tried and true lesson plans created by teachers that cover a wide range of history topics. All of the lessons use hyperlinked primary sources that will encourage the learner to dig deeper into the topic and make real connections with the subject.

When arriving at the link, you can search for lessons based on topic, era, or alphabetically. Topics include: 

  • African American History
  • American History
  • American Indian History
  • American Revolution
  • Arts & Culture
  • City & Regional History
  • Civil War
  • Culture & Folklife
  • Discovery and Exploration
  • Government, Law & Politics
  • Immigration & Ethnic Heritage
  • Maps & Geography
  • News, Journalism & Advertising
  • Oral Histories
  • Photographs, Prints, and Posters
  • Poetry and Literature
  • Science, Technology & Business
  • Sports, Recreation & Leisure
  • Women’s History
  • World History & Cultures
  • World War I
  • World War II

Each lesson plan is laid out similarly and includes: 

  • Overview – Includes a summary of the lesson, objectives, a means to check the standards met, time needed for lesson and recommended grade level.
  • Preparation – information and links to materials and resources used
  • Procedure – step by step instruction on implementing the lesson
  • Evaluation – Ideas for evaluating the students’ work

Some lessons also include a “For Students” section with more activities for the lesson.

While these lessons may have been created for the classroom setting, most can easily be adapted for the homeschool setting. Whether you are trying to put together a complete curriculum using primary sources or looking to supplement a specific topic, this website will quickly become a valuable source in your planning.

Be A History Detective!

October 17th, 2013

Hi!  It’s Thursday, October 17, 2013 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Historical Scene Investigation Project

Age Range: 11-18 (Grades 6-12, approximately)

The Historical Scene Investigation (H.S.I.) website provides social studies students with the opportunity to become virtual history detectives. Students investigate prepared “case files” about historical events by examining primary source materials such as journals, diaries, artifacts, historic sites, works of art, quantitative data, and other evidence from the past. Then, students  compare the multiple points of view of the people who were on the scene at the time.

Developed in partnership with the College of William & Mary School of Education, University of Kentucky School of Education, and the Library of Congress, H.S.I. is an effort to take students beyond textbook facts and give them “experiences that more closely resemble the work of a real historian.”

When you get to the website you’ll see a menu that offers information about the H.S.I. Project and a link to the “Investigations” that include:

  • Jamestown Starving Time
  • Bacon’s Rebellion
  • The Boston “Massacre”
  • Lexington & Concord
  • Constitution Controversy
  • Antonio A Slave
  • Finding Aaron
  • Children in the Civil War
  • School Desegregation
  • Dropping the Bomb
  • Case of Sam Smiley
  • March on Frankfort
  • When Elvis Met Nixon

Click on any “case file” and a new page opens with a description of the historic event and a question for the student to answer through investigating documents. Click on “Student View” to read the documents and access a series of questions that guide the student in analyzing the information in order to crack the case.

Poetry Videos for K-12!

May 8th, 2013

Hi!  It’s Wednesday, May 8, 2013 and time for Language Arts at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Favorite Poem Project

Age Range: All (Grades K-12, with parental supervision.)

This website was designed to enhance and improve the teaching of poetry in K-12 classrooms through a collection of 50 short video documentaries showcasing individual Americans reading and talking about poems they love.

The Favorite Poem Project was founded by Robert Pinsky, the 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, and is dedicated to “celebrating, documenting and encouraging poetry’s role in Americans’ lives.”

The videos are a permanent part of the Library of Congress archive of recorded poetry and literature. While the videos were conceived as a teaching and learning tool for schools, they can be used in the homeschool environment as well.

When you get to the site you’ll see a brief introduction and a menu of the poetry videos. Turn on your speakers, click on any poetry video title, and a new page opens that launches the video. In addition to watching an individual read the poem, you’ll learn a little about the reader including their thoughts about why they like the poem. The words of the poem are displayed so you can follow along as it’s being read.

Because there are no age/grade ranges mentioned on the individual videos, parents AS ALWAYS should preview the poems to determine suitability of content for their own children.

Of the poetry videos I watched, most were geared to Middle and High School age students and beyond. If you want a suggestion for a poem that younger children may enjoy, try “Block City” by Robert Louis Stevenson, read in a very child-like, sing-song voice by an elementary grade student. After he reads the poem, he talks about why he likes it – and it’s utterly charming.  :)


Free Women’s History Month Lessons & Activities!

March 14th, 2013

Hi!  It’s Thursday, March 14, 2013 and time for Social Sciences at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Women’s History Month

Age Range: 10 and up  (approximately, with parental supervision)

March is Women’s History Month that recognizes and celebrates the importance of women and their role in history. This website, sponsored by the Library of Congress, offers extensive free resources including articles, exhibitions, audio/visual presentations, lessons, activities and more to learn about women’s history.

When you get to the website you’ll see an introduction and featured highlights and events. Use the menu on the left side of the page to access:

*Exhibits & Collections – An archive of links to resources that include virtual field trips to historic places such as the homes of Clara Barton and Eleanor Roosevelt, and links to information on Women’s Rights, and women in Performing Arts, Government and Politics, Culture and Folklife, and much more.

*Audio/Video – Enjoy audio and video presentations about women in Arts and Culture, Business and Economics, Civil Rights, Music and Performing Arts, Poetry and Literature, and more.

*For Teachers – Access ready-to-use lesson plans, student activities, collection guides and research aids. Don’t miss the link to “Women’s History.” When the new page opens, you’ll see an illustration of a woman. Below it, are links to “Lesson Plans,” and a section “For Students” with many, many more resources to explore.

There is a massive amount of content here, so bookmark the site to return often.

Free National Jukebox from Library of Congress!

February 2nd, 2013

Hi!  It’s Saturday, February 2, 2013, and time for Music at ClickSchooling!

Recommended Website:

Library of Congress: National Jukebox

Age Range: All (with parental supervision, see warning below)

The Library of Congress provides a “National Jukebox” that makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. This exhibit transforms your computer into a gramophone featuring more than 10,000 78rpm disc recordings issued by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1900 and 1925.  You can listen to a broad range of songs including marching band music, novelty tunes, hits from musical theater productions, dance tunes, and opera arias. You’ll also find spoken recordings.

When you get to the site, you’ll see the music audio player – and just above it this:

WARNING: Historical recordings may contain offensive language.

These music selections are presented as part of the record of the past.They are historical documents which reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of people in a very different time period. For that reason, they may contain content that is offensive to users.  As always, PARENTS SHOULD PREVIEW THE SITE and supervise all Internet activity.

Once you get past the disclaimer, look below the audio player to find a menu of featured recordings and playlists.  Use the menu in the left margin that includes:

*Browse all of the Recordings – Search by language, target audience, record label, date range, composer, lyricist, performer and genre.

*Artists – Browse the artists from A-Z. Find recordings by music greats such as opera Singer Enrico Caruso, Broadway legends Al Jolson and Fanny Brice, whistling virtuoso Charles Kellogg, composer and band leader John Philip Sousa, and thousands more.

*Genres – Find a wide selection of genres of music including classical, opera, religious, popular music, blues, ethnic music, humorous songs, etc.

This is an AMAZING musical resource that takes time to explore. Bookmark it to return often.