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All Newsletters contain the“Awesome” Source of the Month, Upcoming Events, News, Important Links, and Lesson Ideas based on primary sources from the Library of Congress.

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Amelia Earhart

July 2015: History Mysteries

  • Lesson ideas: The Bell Witch, Real vs. Fictional Pirates, Paul Revere's Ride, Amelia Earhart's Disappearance
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, English/Language Arts




The First Vote

June 2015: Reconstruction

  • Lesson ideas: The Early Ku Klux Klan, Johnson's Impeachment, Memphis Race Riots
  • Feature: Lesson Plan: The Hayes-Tilden Election
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History & Geography, English/Language Arts



Evolution of Interstellar Space Flight

May 2015: Using Primary Sources at the Elementary Level

  • Lesson ideas: Healthy Living, Telling Time with Analog Clocks, How to Tackle Text Excerpts, Space Technology
  • Standards Covered: Health, Math, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Science



Girl scout in canoe during Earth Week

April 2015: The Environment

  • Lesson ideas: Human Intervention, Earthquakes, Animal Habitats at Zoos and Aquariums, Conservation as "Patriotic Duty"
  • Standards Covered: Science, Environmental Science, Ecology, U.S. History and Government



Joan of Arc

March 2015: Women Leaders

  • Lesson ideas: Louisa May Alcott, Women Who Changed the Landscape of Art
  • Feature: TPS Teachers Network
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Art, English/Language Arts



King Memorial

February 2015: African American Leaders

  • Lesson ideas: Crispus Attucks, Marian Anderson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Art, Sojourner Truth & Harriet Tubman
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Art, English/Language Arts, African American History



Huexotzinco Codex

January 2015: Mathematics

  • Lesson ideas: Calculating the Codex, History of Calculators, Math Around the World, The Statistics of World War I
  • Standards Covered: Mathematics, Social Studies, Statistics, World History and Geography



Roger Williams academic class

December 2014: Historical Thinking

  • Lesson ideas: Contextualizing the Gettysburg Address, Corroboration: Women's Suffrage, Evidence of African American Accomplishments, Sourcing the Dust Bowl
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History, English/Language Arts



Whale fishery

November 2014: Classic American Literature

  • Lesson ideas: The Great Gatsby (1925), Moby Dick (1851), Write Your Own Board Book
  • Standards Covered: English/Language Arts
  • Feature: Books That Shaped America



Sleepy Hollow cover detail

October 2014: The Early Republic

  • Lesson ideas: Thoreau's Walden, The Dred Scott Decision, Nat Turner's Rebellion, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, African American History, Common Core for English/Language Arts



Douglas Dam carpenter

September 2014: Tennessee Valley Authority

  • Lesson ideas: Roots of TVA, Benefits and Consequences of TVA, Making Art with WPA Posters, TVA and Eminent Domain
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History, Science, Visual Art, Common Core for English/Language Arts



El Mosquito

August 2014: Historic Epidemics

  • Lesson ideas: The Spanish Flu, The Black Death, Yellow Fever
  • Feature: Chronicling America
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History, Common Core for English/Language Arts



I want you

July 2014: World War I

  • Lesson ideas: Hoover & the Bonus Marchers, Heroic Expectations, Gas Attack
  • Feature: World War I Posters
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History, Common Core for English/Language Arts



News from Home

June 2014: Civil War: A Soldier's Life

  • Lesson ideas: Sam Watkins and Co. Aytch, Letters Home, Music and the Civil War Soldier, Envisioning the Combat Experience
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Music, Common Core for English/Language Arts



Jelina Cubic

May 2014: Labor

  • Lesson ideas: Women's Labor and World War II, March on Washington, The Songs of Migrant Farm Workers, Triangle Factory Fire
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History and Geography, African American History, Music, Common Core for English/Language Arts



A chicken in every pot

April 2014: Folklife

  • Lesson ideas: Appalachian Folk Music Traditions, Interviews as Primary Sources, The Story-telling Rugs of Mary Sheppard Burton, Legends of the Railroads
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History and Geography, Music, Visual Art, Common Core for English/Language Arts



Guitar sign

March 2014: Tennessee History

  • Lesson ideas: Centennial Exposition, The Exodus from Tennessee, Coal Creek Convict Lease Wars, W.C. Handy and the Memphis Blues
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History and Geography, African American History, Common Core for English/Language Arts



Articles of Confederation

February 2014: Founding Documents

  • Lesson ideas: Thomas Paine and Common Sense, The Magna Charta, The Federalist, The Articles of Confederation
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. Government, Common Core for English/Language Arts



Rosa Parks

January 2014: Mythbusters

  • Lesson ideas: First in Flight?, Rosa Parks & the Bus Boycott, Did Pocahontas Save John Smith?
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Science, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Featured Feature: Mythbusting TPS-MTSU Lesson Plans


TJ to Meriwether Lewis

December 2013: Thomas Jefferson

  • Lesson ideas: Thomas Jefferson as Slaveholder, The Louisiana Purchase, Jefferson's Macaroni Machine, The Man Behind the Curtain
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Science, Government, Civics, Common Core for English/Language Arts



Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

November 2013: Cold War

  • Lesson ideas: Culture and the Cold War, Cold War Cartoonists, Cultural Exchanges Between Two Superpowers
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Featured Feature: Herblock Exhibitions


Quentin Corley

October 2013: Disabilities

  • Lesson ideas: Innovation & Training for WWI Veterans, Helen Keller & the Manual Alphabet
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Featured Article: A Brief History of Disability in the United States


bank note

September 2013: Economics

  • Lesson ideas: Economy in the Landscape, The Story of Crisco, The Summer Camp Store
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History, Economics, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Feature: Transition to a Consumer Economy


Mr. and Mrs. David Vincent

August 2013: Westward Migration

  • Lesson ideas: The Dakota War of 1862, Living in a Sod House, Drawing the Westward Migration
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Feature: New Lesson Plan: Manifest Destiny


In the Golden Summertime

July 2013: Recreation & Leisure

  • Lesson ideas: Fun Food, Going to the Show, Take a Vacation in 1860
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Feature: Summer Reading



Henry Box Brown

June 2013: Civil War: Emancipation

  • Lesson ideas: Freedman's Savings and Trust Company, Henry Box Brown, Songs of Slavery & Emancipation
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Common Core for English/Language Arts, Music
  • Feature: Emancipation Resources


Take Me Out to the Ball Game

May 2013: Baseball

  • Lesson ideas: Casey at the Bat, Women in Baseball, Jackie Robinson in Popular Culture
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Common Core for English/Language Arts, Music
  • Feature: Historic Baseball Resources


Main Reading Room

April 2013: Libraries

  • Lesson ideas: The Folger Library's Shakespeare in Stone, The Core of the Library of Congress, Carnegie Libraries
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Feature:2013 TPS-MTSU Civil War Summer Institute



Christine de Pizan

March 2013: Medieval History

  • Lesson ideas: The Power of the Pope, Castles of All Kinds, The Legend of King Arthur
  • Standards Covered: World History, A.P. European History, Social Studies, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Feature: World Digital Library


Ballad of Booker T

February 2013: Poetry

  • Lesson ideas: Rhyme with Mother Goose, Poetry and Politics, Poetry of Wars' Survivors
  • Standards Covered: U.S. History, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Feature: Found Poetry Activities



Mother giving medicine

January 2013: Medicine

  • Lesson ideas: Medical Advertising, Women Medical Pioneers, Military Medicine
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Feature: National History Day Topics Sheet


Children Who Stay in the City

December 2012: Children

  • Lesson ideas: Children of the Great Depression, Child Labor, One-Room Schoolhouses
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. History, Common Core for English/Language Arts
  • Feature: America's Story from America's Library


Evening Herald August 18 1920

November 2012: Women's Suffrage

  • Lesson ideas: A Letter and a Vote; Pickets, Arrests, and Hunger Strikes; A Constitutional Right As Citizens
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. Government, U.S. History, Visual Arts, Common Core for Literacy in History/Social Studies
  • Feature: Congress.Gov


Humorous portrayal of a man who flies with wings

October 2012: Aviation

  • Lesson ideas: Wright Brothers Illustrated Timeline, The Magic of First Flights
  • Standards Covered: Career and Technical Education, Science, English, U.S. History
  • Feature: "Multidisciplinary Uses of Primary Sources in the Technology Engineering Classroom" by Perry Louden, Jr., Rockvale Middle School, Rutherford County


Great Republican Harrison and Morton, campaign ball

September 2012: Political Science

  • Lesson ideas: The Presidential Election of 1920, Constitutional Powers
  • Standards Covered: U.S. Government, Speech, U.S. History, Social Studies
  • Feature: "Politics and Primary Sources" by Dr. Mark Byrnes, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Professor of Political Science, MTSU


The health of the child is the power of the nation

August 2012: Primary Sources in the K-2 Classroom

  • Lesson ideas: Classic Children's Stories, Summers of the Past, Zoo Animals, American Folk Lullabies
  • Standards Covered: English/Language Arts (common core), Science, Visual Art, Music, Reading



July 2012: Shakespeare

  • Lesson ideas: Shakespeare in Political Cartoons, President Lincoln and Shakespeare, Re-Imagining Shakespeare
  • Standards Covered: Contemporary Issues, English/Language Arts, Social Studies
  • Feature:The New Deal Stage


Camp Greble near Norfolk

June 2012: Occupation in the Civil War

  • Lesson ideas: Oaths of Loyalty, The Fall of Fort Donelson, Occupied Norfolk, Virginia
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. Government, A.P. U.S. History
  • Feature: Civil War Photos of African Americans


Ben Hur chariot race

May 2012: History in the Movies

  • Lesson Ideas: Amistad, Titanic, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, To Kill a Mockingbird and Childhood
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, World Geography, English/Language Arts, African American History, U.S. History, U.S. Government, Theatre


In the Merry Month of May

April 2012: Ethnic Celebrations

  • Lesson Ideas: Emancipation Day Celebrations, Chinese New Year, Cinco de Mayo
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, English/Language Arts, U.S. History
  • Feature: New Issue of TPS Journal


Battle of New Orleans

March 2012: War of 1812

  • Lesson Ideas: Mapping the War, News of Peace, The Death of Tecumseh
  • Standards Covered: Math, Social Studies, English/ Language Arts
  • Feature: 2012 Civil War Summer Institute



Woman in Black

February 2012: Performing Arts

  • Lesson Ideas: Zora Neale Hurston as Playwright, Dance and Early Film, Leonard Bernstein and Musical Appreciation
  • Standards Covered: Music, Social Studies, Theatre, English/Language Arts, Technology Engineering, Art
  • Feature: Performing Arts Encyclopedia


Participants, some carrying American flags, marching in the civil rights march

January 2012: Civil Rights

  • Lesson Ideas: Jackie Robinson & Civil Rights, "Separate but Equal" Education, Marian Anderson's 1939 Concert at the Lincoln Memorial
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Music
  • Feature: NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom



View of Fort George

December 2011: Colonial America

  • Lesson Ideas:Female Patriots, Colonial Maps
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, U.S. Governmnet
  • Feature:"Early America Through Primary Documents" Article By Dr. Lynn A. Nelson, Associate Professor of History at Middle Tennessee State University



Historic Electric City Sign Scranton

November 2011: Electricity

  • Lesson Ideas: Tennessee Valley Authority - Hydroelectric Power, Electricity and Culture, Consuming Electricity
  • Standards Covered: Science, Social Studies, English/Language Arts
  • Feature: Edison's Films and Sound Recordings


Lost in Siberia

October 2011: Armchair Travel

  • Lesson Ideas: Armchair Traveler, Creative Travel Writing, A Trip to Wonderland
  • Standards Covered: English, Social Studies, Science
  • Feature: Travel Narratives


Help September 2011: Progressive Era

  • Lesson Ideas: Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Progressive Presidents, Women’s Suffrage & the Progressive Movement
  • Standards Covered: African American History, English/Language Arts, Social Studies, U.S. History, U.S. Government
  • Feature: American Memory Timeline


Wee Willie Winkie August 2011: Children's Literature

  • Lesson Ideas: Teach Dear America, Form Your Own Book Club
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Language Arts, English
  • Features: Writing Contests for Students, & the Center for the Book


Reenactment of Civil War siege of April 1862 July 2011: Civil War – Divided Tennessee

  • Lesson Ideas: "A House Divided," Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Language Arts, A.P. U.S. History
  • Feature: "Divided Tennessee" article by Dr. Antoinette Van Zelm, Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area Historian


The national parks preserve wild life

June 2011: National Parks

  • Lesson Ideas: Safety in the National Parks, National Parks Photography, Tennessee's Own National Park
  • Standards Covered: Lifetime Wellness, English/Language Arts, Social Studies, Environmental Science, World Geography
  • Feature: Mapping the National Parks


Pictorial envelop for Hokusai's 36 view of Mount Fuji

May 2011: Art

  • Lesson Ideas: Art Around the World, Art as Propaganda, Art & Advertising
  • Standards Covered: Visual Art, World History, U.S. History
  • Feature: Online Exhibitions



Novel device for stopping a runaway horse

April 2011: Inventors & Inventions

  • Lesson Ideas: Thomas Edison's Light Bulb, The Evolution of Flight, Civil War Communications
  • Standards Covered: Science, U.S. History, English/Language Arts, Career & Technical Education
  • Feature: Ingenious Inventions Throughout History



March 2011: Native American History & Culture

  • Lesson Ideas: Indian Removal Perspectives, Analyzing Artwork: Historical Inaccuracies
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Art History
  • Feature: 2011 Civil War Summer Institute, New Lesson Plans on the TPS-TN Web Site


Chief Justice William Rehnquist administering the oath of office

February 2011: Presidents & First Ladies

  • Lesson Ideas:Cartoons & Controversies, "Modern" First Ladies, Tennessee Presidents
  • Standards Covered: English/Language Arts, Social Studies
  • Feature: "I Do Solemnly Swear..."


Egypt Memphis The Spinx of Memphis

January 2011: The Ancient World

  • Lesson Ideas: Examining Religious Texts & Artifacts, Be an Egyptian Archaeologist, The Parthenon and Neo-Classical Architecture
  • Standards Covered:Social Studies, Visual Arts
  • Feature: Lesson Plan on Minerva Mosaic


Horses cantering

December 2010: Photography

  • Lesson Ideas: Worth a Thousand Words, Photography & Animation, Child Labor in Tennessee
  • Standards Covered: English/Language Arts, Visual Arts, Science, Social Studies
  • Feature: New Lesson Plans on the TPS-TN Web Site


 Planting corn alog a river in northeastern Tennessee

November 2010: Agriculture

  • Lesson Ideas: Agriculture Around the World, Mapping the State with TN Century Farms
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Science, Health Education, Agricultural Science
  • Feature: "Agriculture in Tennessee" article by Caneta S. Hankins, Director, TN Century Farms program


When Tennessee the 36th state ratified , Aug 18 1920

October 2010: Elections

  • Lesson Ideas: The Vote, The Wilmot Proviso and the Election of 1848
  • Standards Covered: U.S. Government, U.S. History, English
  • Features: THOMAS, Elections...the American Way



Americanese wall

September 2010: Immigration

  • Lesson Ideas: Mother of Exiles, Immigration in Political Cartoons, Immigrant Culture
  • Standards Covered: English/Language Arts, Contemporary Issues, Social Studies, Music, Foreign Languages
  • Feature: New Professional Development Modules


Big Blue Whale Route 66

August 2010: Transportation

  • Lesson Ideas: Graphing the Automobile Boom, Railroads in Tennessee, Get Your Kicks on Route 66
  • Standards Covered: Math, Social Studies, Technology Engineering, World Geography, Economics, Geography, English/Language Arts
  • Feature: Carol Highsmith Photographs


Capture of Fort Henry

July 2010: Civil War

  • Lesson Ideas: Mapping Tennessee in the Civil War, Civil War Music, The Role of Photography in Wartime
  • Standards Covered: Math, Geography, Music, Social Studies, Language Arts, Visual Art
  • Feature: Civil War 150th Anniversary


Four roses barometer

June 2010: Weather

  • Lesson Ideas: Weather & the Dust Bowl, Predicting the Weather, Comparing Weather Disasters
  • Standards Covered: Science, Ecology, Environmental Science, Earth Science, Physical Science, U.S. History
  • Feature: Library of Congress Webcasts


Street musicians Maynardville

May 2010: Music

  • Lesson Ideas: Creative Writing & Music, Teaching with American Folk Music, Music & Culture
  • Standards Covered: English/ Language Arts, Social Studies, U.S. History, English, Reading, Music, World History, World Geography
  • Feature: New Prints & Photographs Online Catalog


Childs garden of verses

April 2010: Literature & Poetry

  • Lesson Ideas: Children's Illustrated Books, The Fugitives [Writing Club]
  • Standards Covered: Reading, English/ Language Arts, Art Education, High School English and Government
  • Feature: Exquisite Corpse Adventure


Visit the zoo Philadelphia

March 2010: Animals

  • Lesson Ideas: Animal Advertising, Identifying Animals, Animal Adaptations
  • Standards Covered: Arts Education, Social Studies (Economics), Life Science
  • Feature: Science Reference Services


Athlete, weight lifting, standing on athletic field

February 2010: The Olympics

  • Lesson Ideas: Olympics: Peace or Politics?, Olympics and the Environment, Olympic Geography
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Ecology, Environmental Science, Geography, World Geography
  • Feature: Thumbnail images that do not expand (uncertain copyright)


War time cook and health

January 2010: Politically Incorrect Primary Sources

  • Lesson Ideas: Political Cartoons, Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, The Ideal Consumer
  • Standards Covered: English, U.S. History, Marketing/Advertising
  • Features: "Using Politically Incorrect Sources in the Classroom," "It's No Laughing Matter: Analyzing Political Cartoons"


Canning string beans

December 2009: Food

  • Lesson Ideas: Nutrition through Graphic Design, Food Advertising, Food and Technology
  • Standards Covered: Health Education, Marketing, Science, Social Studies, English
  • Feature: American Folklife Center


Facing the future Uncle Sam

November 2009: Veterans

  • Lesson Ideas: Navajo Code Talkers, World War I and Timelines, David Glasgow Farragut & the Battle for Mobile Bay
  • Standards Covered: English, Journalism, Social Studies, U.S. History, World Geography
  • Feature: Veterans History Project


Wilma Rudolph at the finish line

October 2009: Sports


Mexican Aztec calendar

September 2009: World History & Cultures

  • Lesson Ideas: The Aztecs, Around the World in the 1890s
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Math, English, Science (Embedded Technology & Engineering), Environmental Science, World Geography, World History
  • Features: Zoom into the World Digital Library!, Knowledge Quest from myLOC, "Huexotzinco Codex" lesson plan


Union Gospel Tabernacle

August 2009: Architecture & Architectural Landscapes

  • Lesson Ideas: Living in the Suburbs, Be Your Own Architect, Bridges
  • Standards Covered: U.S. History, English, Science (Embedded Technology & Engineering), Math
  • Features: Architecture as Primary Source article, "Finding the Area and Volume of Buildings Using Architectural Drawings" lesson plan


American flag

July 2009: Symbols of Patriotism

  • Lesson Ideas: How the States Got Their Shapes, Declaration of Independence, John Bull and Uncle Sam, Statue of Liberty
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Government, Geography, English, World History, Physical Science
  • Features: article on Level One workshops, Creating the United States word search


Wizard of Oz

June 2009: Popular Culture & the Performing Arts

  • Lesson Ideas: The American Dream, Vaudeville, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Language Arts, Theater, U.S. History
  • Feature: Songs for Our Times


Sailor and girl at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

May 2009: Summer Vacation

  • Lesson Ideas: May Holidays, Local Legacies
  • Standards Covered: Social Studies, Language Arts
  • Features: article on spring presentations, Branding of America


Gods handiwork

April 2009: Earth Day

  • Lesson Ideas: National Park Service, Environmental Science, Map Activity: Night Lights, Rachel Carson & Silent Spring
  • Standards Covered: Environmental Science, English, U.S. History, Social Studies, Geography
  • Feature: Everyday Mysteries


Golfer Miss. O. Lindman

March 2009: Women's Accomplishments 

  • Lesson Ideas: Achievements in journalism, civil rights, and the arts
  • Standards Covered: English, U.S. History, Journalism, Government, Electronic Media Production, and Visual Art
  • Feature: “Women’s Achievements in Science” by Dr. Judith Iriarte-Gross, Department of Chemistry, Middle Tennessee State University


Benjamin Bannekers almanac

February 2009: African American Heritage

  • Lesson Ideas: Slave Narratives, Benjamin Banneker’s Almanac
  • Standards Covered: Language Arts, Reading, Earth Science



Presidents levee

January 2009: Presidential Inaugurations

  • Lesson Ideas: Jackson’s Inauguration


Last updated on: 07/2/15 10:33 am