The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Presentations and Activities

Presentations look across the American Memory collections to investigate curricular themes. They include historical background, helping to tell the story behind the theme.

clock face

American Memory Timeline
A comprehensive look at America's history, through primary sources... a teacher's wish, come true!

Teachers
Students (Gr. 8- 12)

map of the USA

The Branding of America
What are "brand name" products? Why do they endure over the years? Discover some favorite brand name products from across the USA.

Students of all ages

a compass

Fill up the Canvas
What was the historical significance of the Lewis and Clark expedition? What impact did it have on the growth of the nation...and on its Native American inhabitants?

Teachers
Students (Gr. 4-12)

person with wings

From Fantasy to Flight
Use these Resources from the Library of Congress documenting the history of flight the dreams, fantasies, experimentation and inventions that came before and after the historic achievement of the Wright brothers.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 5-12)

civil rights parade

From Slavery to Civil Rights
Use this interactive activity to introduce African-American history through primary sources. Learn More links for each era

Teachers
Students (Gr. 5-12)

women cooking

The Great American Potluck
What can we learn about a nation from its food? Explore the diversity of this nation through its recipes and the stories behind them.

Students of all ages

ballot box

Elections
Non-Shockwave
How have American elections changed over time? What similarities can we see in elections yesteryear and today? For and Against American Political Parties Past

Teachers
Students (Gr. 5- 12)

chinese immigrant

Immigration
Observe the building of the nation. How have immigrants shaped this land?
Vocabulary Activities

Teachers
Students (Gr. 5- 12)

President Washington

Inaugurations: Stepping into History
Discover what inauguration ceremonies over the centuries can teach us about our changing nation and the leaders who have shaped it.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 5- 12)

Chinese immigrant

Interviews With Today's Immigrants
What has been the experience of immigrants to the U.S. in recent years? Read the stories of recent immigrants to communities across the nation.

Students of all ages

fruit vendor

Looking into Holidays Past
Focusing on holiday themed resources, help your students analyze what they see, hear and read in primary sources.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 4- 12)

musical score

Lyrical Legacy
Lyrical Legacy helps teachers explore eighteen American songs and poems from the digital collections of the Library of Congress.

Teachers and Students

American junior Red Cross

On the Homefront
Explore American Memory resources that illustrate homefront contributions during World War I and World War II. Gallery of Resources.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 6-12)

image of a woman

Pages from Her Story
Read womens perceptions of historic times and events in the reflections, hopes and dreams they recorded in diaries, journals, memoirs, reminiscences, letters, and speeches.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 5-12)

cartoon character

Taking the Mystery Out of Copyright
What is copyright and how does it affect me? Join Detective Cop E. Wright to learn about copyright basics and find answers to your questions.

Students
(with teacher facilitation)

a turkey

Thanksgiving
Investigate the American tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving, beginning in colonial times. Thanksgiving Timeline!

Teachers
Students (Gr. 6-12)

Mrs Grover Cleveland

Who's That Lady?
Use the American Memory collections and other resources to meet the challenge of the Turn-of-the-Century First Ladies' Bowl.

Students
(with teacher facilitation)

Zora Neale Hurston

Women's Words of Wisdom
Discover the wisdom shared by women from many walks of life through the years of America's past.

Teachers and Students

woman at work in a factory

Women Pioneers
Experience the stories of women who forged ahead to make a better life for themselves, their families, and their societies. Our Mothers (Sound Recording)

Teachers and Students

map of the USA

Zoom Into Maps
Using historic maps from the Library of Congress, help students understand what maps can tell us.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 4- 12)

Activities offer an interactive, "hands on" experience and focus on a specific topic, rather than broad themes. They require teacher direction, but invite students to participate.

candle

Creating the United States: Word Search
A quick way to get acquainted with some of the words related to the founding documents of the United States.

Students of all ages

detail from the draft of the Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence: Rewriting the Rough Draft
Students take a close-up look at Thomas Jefferson's "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence, and then try their hand at crafting an alternate version of the nation's founding document.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 4-12)

magnifying glass

Historical Detective
Search the American Memory collections to solve the riddle. Archive of Cases.

Students
(with teacher facilitation)

drawing of a child

It's No Laughing Matter
Use this interactive activity to take apart real-world cartoons as you learn how to spot the methods behind the message. Political Cartoon Resources.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 5- 12)

sleeping man and a child

Making Connections Through Poetry
In this activity, students analyze primary source documents from the Library of Congress, then share their understanding through the illustrated poems they create.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 4-12)

Martin Waldseemller's 1507 map of the world

Maps and Mapmakers: Seeing What's on the Map
Students examine Martin Waldseemller's 1507 map of the world to discover a new way of thinking about what was important to the mapmaker.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 4-8)

cartoon character

Photographs from U.S. History: The Big Picture
Complete the jigsaw puzzles, then hunt for information in American Memory to find the theme for each puzzle set.

Students of all ages
(readability is
upper elementary)

book with old U.S. flag in it

Port of Entry
Use your detective skills to uncover the stories of immigrants to the United States.

Students
(with teacher facilitation)

song sheet

Songs for Our Times
Songs express what people think and feel, even as they introduce people, places and events. In this activity, you can explore the past through songs of the time. Non-Flash Version

Teachers
Students (Gr. 8-12)

detail from the Thomas Jerfferson building

The Thomas Jefferson Building: Secret Messages
Students explore the Library's historic Thomas Jefferson building to discover some of the unusual objects in and around the building, and to think about what messages these objects might send about the Library's purpose.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 4-12)

old books

Thomas Jefferson's Library: Connecting the Books to the Life
Books from Thomas Jeffersons personal library provide unique insights into the mind of the third President, and help students draw connections between his reading and his lifes work.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 4-12)

quill and ink

Thomas Jefferson's Library: Word Search
A simple, fun introduction to some of the words related to the books in Thomas Jeffersons Library.

Teachers
Students (Gr. 3-6)

man emerging from a hatch

What in the World Is That?
Learn about amazing innovations and inventions from the past through primary sources. Play the challenging game, and use the learn more with additional resources.

Students
(with teacher facilitation)