What’s on your checklist at the start of this school year?
✓ Blank notebooks
✓ Sharpened pencils
𝤿 Free, online ready-to-use education resources
Check! ‘Tis Back-to-School season and here at DPLA, we are eager and excited to dive into another year of innovative teaching and learning with a great lineup of new resources to use in your classroom this year.
Primary Source Sets
Published last year, our 100 Primary Source Sets, each with an accompanying teaching guide, are ready to use this fall – to adapt into a lesson to complement your curriculum, to inspire student researchers, and to deepen student engagement through inquiry-based analysis. Designed for grades 6-14 and vetted by our Education Advisory Committee, the Primary Source Sets draw on DPLA’s vast collections of resources from libraries, archives, and museums across the country and feature diverse primary sources including letters, photographs, posters, oral histories, video clips, sheet music, and more.
- Our American literature sets provide rich context to complement the books your students are reading this year like The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
- The Arts sets explore pivotal moments in visual art history, dance, music, and theater. Rock out with Rock ‘n’ Roll: Beginnings to Woodstock and explore the Visual Art of the Harlem Renaissance.
- Explore the history and social impact of medical discoveries, invention, and scientific innovation in our Science and Technology sets, such as Electrifying America and There is No Cure for Polio.
- For those teaching history, you’ll find sets on core topic areas like Creating the US Constitution and America’s entry into World War I as well as less familiar subjects like Negro League Baseball, West Virginia mining, and the American Indian Movement.
And we are eager to work with you to explore even broader implications of these resources for courses in sociology, women’s studies, American studies and more.
We have also been working hard to spread the word about DPLA and our education resources and grow our community of educators. You can now find, save, and share the Primary Source Sets alongside your favorite online resources in PBS LearningMedia, OER Commons, Amazon Inspire and the Learning Registry’s Open Node.
Our digital exhibitions are another great resource for educators and students to keep in mind as the new academic year begins. Like the Primary Source Sets, the Exhibitions represent a broad array of topics that complement history curricula like the first transcontinental railroad, the New Deal, and Prohibition. Our partner-curated exhibitions also present an opportunity to explore history through a more local lens of a particular state or region, like Boom or Bust: The Industries that Settled Montana, Georgia’s Home Front: World War II, and Best Foot Forward: The Shoe Industry in Massachusetts.
With nearly 14 million items from over 2,000 contributing institutions, DPLA’s research portal represents a rich and unprecedented mix of local, national, and international cultural heritage that offers nearly unlimited possibilities for exploration for you and your students. And we’re growing! In the past year, we’ve added millions of new records from our existing partners like the National Archives and Empire State Digital Network and from new state hubs from Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Where to start? If you haven’t already, sign up for a free account with DPLA to be able to save your favorite items and organize item lists for each of your classes and topics of interest. The save and share list feature is great for student researchers too. Here’s a quick how-to guide for searching in DPLA and you’re off – happy discovering!
The Open eBooks app contains thousands of popular and award-winning titles that are free for kids from in-need communities and offers unprecedented access to quality digital content for early grades, middle school, and high school, including a catalog of eBooks valued at more than $250 million. The Open eBooks app is now available for Apple and Android mobile devices. Learn more and sign up at openebooks.net.
Open eBooks is a collaboration between Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), First Book, and The New York Public Library (NYPL), with content support from digital books distributor Baker & Taylor.
DPLA is an ever-growing resource and we’ll be working to create exhibitions and primary source sets and develop new educational opportunities all year so let’s keep in touch!