Maybe it's because I'm at a teaching school, but a lot of my posts in recent months have been teaching-centered. I assign a lot of primary sources in my classes. I have students write their own faux primary sources. I take students into the archives. Today I want to think about the primary sources I love to teach and why. Reply in the comments about your favorite primary sources for teaching.
What makes a primary source a good teaching resource? I think primary sources are great readings on their own, but some are certainly richer than others for the classroom. Good teaching primary sources are ones that reflect their context. A good source prompt student reflection on how his/her own subjectivity is shaped by the culture around her/him. Primary sources illuminate conflict and show moments of creative tension in American history. They show how the past can be a foreign country and they reveal how the past is not so different from today.
|King's mugshots provide good visual primary sources too.|
|One of the original 38 engravings from The Awful Disclosures|
of Maria Monk
This is barely the tip of the iceberg. There are so many primary sources that are effective teaching tools. What are your favorites and why?
Also GO ZAGS! #DotheFew (sorrynotsorry)