Saturday, September 15, 2012

Walker Elementary Teacher Spent Summer in Library of Congress Program

Walker Elementary School's Grace Nall spent the week of Aug. 6-10 at the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute.

During the five-day program, participants work with Library education specialists and subject-matter experts to learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom, while exploring some of the millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents available on the Library¹s website.

Educators attending the teacher institutes develop primary-source based teaching strategies that they can take back to their school districts, apply in the classroom and pass along to colleagues. Teaching with primary sources is a powerful way to help students ask engaged, probing questions, develop critical thinking skills, and construct knowledge.

Applicants to the Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institutes reflect the diversity of the world of K-12 education. Participants in a teacher institute session typically include school library media specialists and school administrators in addition to classroom teachers. Participants come from many different states, representing large metropolitan school districts and smaller, rural school districts. The expertise provided by the Library of Congress during the institutes can benefit every level of K-12 education.

Primary sources are the raw materials of history ‹ original documents and objects that were created at the time under study. They are different from secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience. Students working with primary sources become engaged learners while building critical thinking skills and constructing new knowledge. Teachers working in the Library's collections will explore the largest online collection of historical artifacts with access to millions of unique primary sources for use in instruction.

Nall was selected from more than 300 applicants to participate in the program. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and recently was co-author of an article published in Social Studies Review, the journal of the California Council for the Social Studies.

For more information on the program, contact Nall at