Lesson Plans

What is Our Value?

Students analyze primary sources to investigate people whose lives may not have been adequately valued by their contemporaries and consider how those individuals could have been valued, and possibly assisted.  After students create a song, diary entry, or podcast that addresses their historical investigations as well as their own contemporary viewpoints.


Abraham Lincoln & Me Activity Book

Students become familiar with primary sources and learn about Abraham Lincoln and his accomplishments while fostering a personal connection to this U.S. president. Cross-curricular extension activities for each page provide numerous options for extending learning and all pages are available in both English and Spanish with accompanying audio files.


The Star Spangled Banner: K-2

Students learn about different types of primary sources and key historical events that led to the creation of the U.S. national anthem, helping them to learn the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner, to build their knowledge of U.S. history and consider and identify their personal connections to this song and the American flag.


Lessons for My Community

Students learn about a fable written by a past U.S. president, then write and illustrate their own fable that contains a lesson useful for their school or local community.


Welcome to Congress

Students are introduced to Congress through primary source analysis and discover how a member of Congress is part of two communities- their home community that they serve, and the community of Congress. After, the teacher may guide students in finding out about their congressional representative and consider sending the rep a letter (see Teacher’s Guide).


Community Helpers

The importance of community helpers is a building block of civics understanding. Students investigate who community helpers are and how they have changed over time through primary source analysis, then match historical and contemporary images of community helpers. After, have students draw a picture of themselves as community helpers and/or a community helper in their community…


Rosa Parks: A Proud Daughter

Students develop literacy skills as they analyze a greeting card to investigate families and the emotions they express and get introduced to civic activist and change maker Rosa Parks. The teacher’s guide includes ideas for making connections to historical inquiry through further investigations of greeting cards in the Library’s Rosa Parks Papers collection and applying…


Diana’s White House Garden

Pair the picture book, Diana’s White House Garden, with primary sources to strengthen student vocabulary and word choice skills while investigating the purposes of World War II victory gardens. After, students can share, in words or pictures, an example of a community coming together for the greater good.


Capture the Flag

Students investigate primary sources to explore the various ways people use the United States flag to show characteristics such as pride, loyalty, and unity for the nation, then create a collage showing examples of celebration and remembrance. After, students can make connections by creating a collage, drawing, poem, video, etc., that shows how the flag…