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The Library of Congress > Teachers > Professional Development > Videos

Explore a growing collection of short videos released to build awareness about Library materials as well as explain and model teaching strategies for using primary sources in the classroom.


  • Chronicling America: A Conversation with Digital Conversion Specialist Tonijala Penn
    Visit with Tonijala Penn and hear about historical newspapers and the Chronicling America digital archives project available through the Library of Congress Web site. (3:39)
  • Copyright Quick Check
    Learn how Section 110 of the copyright statute offers educators latitude in using materials during face-to-face teaching activities. (2:14)
  • Exploring the Library of Congress Web site
    This film highlights the Library's online collections and provides searching techniques to better navigate the Library's Web site. (3:36)
  • Library of Congress 101 for Teachers
    Recorded webinar. Watch and explore what the Library of Congress has for teachers, including lesson plans and primary source sets, webinars and professional development opportunities, social media channels and more. (48:14)
  • for Teachers
    This film focuses on the resources for teachers available from the Library of Congress Web site. (4:36)
  • Maps at the Library of Congress
    A conversation with Mike Buscher on the maps collections at the Library of Congress. (3:04)
  • Planning a Search
    This short film introduces the search function of the Library of Congress Web site and offers suggestions for search terms. (2:21)
  • Preserving Our Communities with Photography
    Recorded webinar. Explore the reaches of Carol Highsmith's archive as she discusses her work and her motivation for dedicating the rights to the American people for copyright-free access. (51:21)
  • Prints & Photographs at the Library of Congress
    A conversation with Barbara Natanson on the prints and photographs collections at the Library of Congress. (5:07)
  • Teacher Resource: Shortcuts to Primary Sources
    This short film is designed to show teachers how to quickly access primary sources from the Library of Congress Web site, including resources from the Teachers Page, Today in History, and Ask a Librarian. (2:26)
  • Teaching & the Veterans History Project
    Recorded webinar. Hear from Monica Mohindra from the Veterans History Project on how your students can become involved in using and collecting stories from veterans in your community. (48:24)
  • Teaching the Civil Rights Act of 1964
    Recorded webinar. Join the Library of Congress education and newspaper experts to learn about the digitized historic newspapers available through the Chronicling America program. Explore teaching strategies for using the materials with students. (43:18)
  • Teaching with Historical Newspapers
    Recorded webinar. Watch Library of Congress education and newspaper experts and learn about the digitized historic newspapers available through the Chronicling America program. Explore teaching strategies for using the materials with students. (49:21)
  • Teaching with Primary Sources
    This film defines primary and secondary sources and explores the value of using primary sources in instruction. (4:08)
  • Teaching with Primary Sources Made a Real Change
    Three teachers from PS153 - the Helen Keller School in the Bronx - describe how teaching with primary sources from the Library of Congress had a positive impact on how they teach in their elementary school. (4:17)
  • The Library of Congress Is Your Library
    An overview of the history of the Library of Congress. (4:55)
  • The Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs
    Discover the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs, more than 1,000 portraits that capture the wartime lives of everyday soldiers and their loved ones. These captivating images are powerful teaching tools, and provide a unique window into the lives of ordinary men and women caught up in an extraordinary war. (3:34)
  • The Power of Images
    Some of the most powerful primary sources in the collections of the Library of Congress are visual images. Learn about the millions of photographs that are available on the Library's Web site. (2:00)
  • The Power of Maps
    An introduction to the map collections at the Library of Congress. Maps are much more than pictures of the world. They can tell us about the people who made them, the times those people lived in, and what they knew and didn't know. (1:53)
  • What's New at the Library of Congress
    Recorded webinar. Join Library staff for lightning updates on new and enhanced features: teacher tools, professional development, primary sources, world culture artifacts, current legislation, social media, community connections and partnerships. (46:38)
  • Working with Maps
    This short piece discusses how to search, view and save thousands of online maps from The Library of Congress. (1:58)
  • Working with Photos & Prints
    This short film will show you shortcuts on how to access photographs from the Library of Congress including how to find, view and save. (2:26)
  • World Digital Library
    Recorded webinar. Imagine giving your students free, unlimited access to treasures from cultural institutions from around the world. Join Library experts to learn more about free primary sources from the World Digital Library. (39:42)



  • Inquiry Process - Connect
    Primary sources can be used during the initial phase of inquiry to open students' minds to the possibility of interpreting and questioning an information source. Shelly Sanderson uses a map to connect the students to the topic in order to gain background knowledge and context about the events of the New York Draft Riots. (4:19)
  • Inquiry Process - Reflect
    Inquiry is a cycle. Reflection is embedded throughout the inquiry process, but it is especially important at the end of a learning experience for students to think about what they have learned about the topic or idea and about inquiry itself. This video shows what new understandings and perspectives the students share with Jacqueline Braithwaite. (3:00)
  • Inquiry Process - Construct
    The most challenging part of any teaching practice is to have students construct knowledge. Teachers must guide students to organize and draw conclusions from information they have found, to confront conflicting ideas and form their own evidence-based opinions, and to be ready to take a stand and defend it. Watch as Shelly Sanderson's students construct new understanding by looking at images of New York City. (3:46)
  • Inquiry Process - Investigate
    When investigating, students will evaluate information to answer questions and test hypotheses. Watch as Earnestine Sweeting has her students use the Library of Congress primary source analysis tool to further investigate events from the New York Draft Riots. (6:16)
  • Inquiry Process - Wonder
    Students will develop focus questions to guide their investigations while wondering during the inquiry process. Jacqueline Brathwaite guides students in a discussion on what they already know about the Draft Riots and see them begin to develop questions for further exploration. (1:57)
  • PS 153 & New York Draft Riots Unit
    Three educators from PS 153 in New York City open share their teaching practices of using primary sources with their 4th graders. They developed a unit on the New York Draft Riots of 1863 and integrated the inquiry process into their lesson plans. (3:00)
  • Inquiry & Primary Sources Overview
    Using primary sources with inquiry empowers students to ask their own questions, construct their own understandings, draw conclusions, create new knowledge and share the knowledge with others. Watch Barbara Stripling discuss why primary sources are essential to the inquiry process. (3:40)
  • Analyzing a Primary Source
    This film presents a short primary source analysis activity for teachers that includes observation, reflection and questioning. (2:07)
  • Beyond the Bubble: A New Generation of Historical Thinking Assessments
    Recorded webinar. During this interactive session, participants learned how to use free online assessments designed by the Stanford History Education Group that incorporate documents from the Library of Congress's archives. Participants examined assessments, rubrics and sample student responses. (55:34)
  • Building Literacy Muscle with Primary Sources
    Recorded webinar. This session shared examples of instructional strategies which use diverse and thoughtfully selected primary sources to develop understanding, academic language and fluency, freeing students to focus on content. (46:34)
  • Engaging Students with the Library of Congress
    Educational Outreach Director, Lee Ann Potter, talks about how to engage students with the Library of Congress. (3:37)
  • Making Thinking Visible with Primary Sources
    Recorded webinar. This session modeled how to use visible thinking strategies to enhance the power of primary sources in your classroom. A wide variety of easy-to-use routines were introduced. Two educators provided examples of how they have used these routines with primary sources to help students learn to think and think to learn. (47:45)
  • Provoking Inquiry Through Primary Sources
    Recorded webinar. As educators, we have answered the question: Why inquiry? This session engaged participants in answering the question: Why use primary sources during inquiry? They investigated ways that primary sources bring inquiry alive in our students: creation of intellectual space, building authentic connections to the real world, integration of inquiry skills, and the development of empathy. (49:12)
  • Reading Like a Historian
    Recorded webinar. This interactive session explored the Stanford History Education Group's "Reading Like a Historian" curriculum and the research behind this free online resource. Participants examined a sample lesson plan and consider how to implement these materials in their classrooms. (48:43)
  • Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions
    Recorded webinar. This session offers an experiential introduction to the Question Formulation Technique, a protocol to help students become question-askers, sophisticated thinkers and self-directed learners. (44:38)
  • Working with Visuals
    Recorded webinar. A photograph, poster, drawing or painting always has more than one story to tell. Information literacy demands observing visual sources, questioning and comparing the information from multiple sources. Join Library staff for approaches to researching with photographs. (42:25)
  • Young Learners Explore Library of Congress Images
    Recorded webinar. This presentation describes research-informed strategies to foster early childhood and primary grade students' multiple literacies through the developmentally appropriate use of primary sources from the Library of Congress. (49:18)