Posts Tagged ‘Primary Sources’

Recent Supreme Court Decisions Offer Primary Sources on Leading Issues

Educators, do you and your students need primary source materials on current controversial social issues? Look no further than SIRS Knowledge Source’s U.S. Supreme Court feature. SIRS editors hand-select Supreme Court decisions based on their relevance to student research and support of SIRS Leading Issues. Users can access Supreme Court cases via the Supreme Court feature in the Government Reporter product, or in the Advanced Search feature in SIRS Knowledge Source by choosing the Primary Sources tab in article results (All available primary sources will appear in the search results).

SIRS Knowledge Source Advanced Search Screenshot via SIRS Issues Researcher

The Court’s most recent term, which concluded the last week of June, saw quite a few compromise decisions since the Court operated without a ninth justice for most of the term. After the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016, the Court was left with only eight justices for 14 months while the White House and Congress battled over its membership. But in April, President Donald Trump’s first nominee, Neil Gorsuch, was confirmed and joined the Court to create a conservative majority.

Current Supreme Court Justices. Front row, left to right: Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Back row: Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch. (Credit: Franz Jantzen, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States) [public domain]

While there were not a lot of high-profile cases, the Court nevertheless handed down some important decisions involving freedom of religion, gay rights, capital punishment, treatment of prisoners, property rights, free speech, child protection laws and election law. Below we highlight some of the decisions from this term, and their relevance to SIRS Leading Issues topics.

* Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools (Feb. 22, 2017): The Court ruled in a case involving the use of a service dog by a child with cerebral palsy that a student or their family can sue a school district over a disability issue without exhausting all administrative procedures under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

(Related Leading Issue: Education Policy)

* Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1 (March 22, 2017): The Court decided that schools can’t settle for minimal academic progress by students with disabilities.

(Related Leading Issues: Autism, Education Policy)

* Star Athletica, LLC v. Varsity Brands, Inc. (March 22, 2017): The Court determined that designs on cheerleading uniforms can be protected by copyright law.

(Related Leading Issues: Cheerleading, Copyright Infringement, Sports)

* Moore v. Texas (March 28, 2017): The Court ruled that the outdated medical standards used by the state of Texas to determine that a convicted murderer was not intellectually disabled and thus eligible for execution violated the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, as well as Supreme Court precedent.

(Related Leading Issues: Capital Punishment, Treatment of Prisoners, Mental Health)

* Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman (March 29, 2017) The Court decided that the New York General Business Law was not unconstitutionally vague under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

(Related Leading Issues: Freedom of Speech)

* Cooper v. Harris (May 22, 2017): The Court determined that North Carolina’s new congressional districting plan constituted an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

(Related Leading Issues: Racial Discrimination, Elections, Government Ethics)

* Sessions v. Morales-Santana (June 12, 2017): The Court determined that disparate citizenship rules for children of unwed mothers and fathers violates the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection.

(Related Leading Issues: Illegal Immigration, Immigration)

* Matal v. Tam (June 19, 2017): The Court ruled that the government can’t reject trademarks that might be disparaging or offensive to some people.

(Related Leading Issues: Controversial Mascots, Ethnic Relations, Freedom of Speech)

* McWilliams v. Dunn (June 19, 2017): The Court decided that an indigent defendant whose competence is a significant issue at trial is entitled to a psychiatric expert, who is independent of the prosecution.

(Related Leading Issues: Criminal Justice, Death Penalty/Capital Punishment, Mental Health)

* Packingham v. North Carolina (June 19, 2017) The Court ruled that the North Carolina law prohibiting registered sex offenders from accessing various websites, where minors are known to be active and have accounts, regardless of whether or not the sex offender directly interacted with a minor, violates the First Amendment.

(Related Leading Issues: Freedom of Speech, Social media, Child protection laws, Convicted felons)

* Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer (June 26, 2017) The Court decided that the exclusion of churches from an otherwise neutral and secular aid program violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free exercise of religion.

(Related Leading Issues: Freedom of Religion, Church and State) 

* Pavan v. Smith (June 26, 2017) The Court ruled that an Arkansas statute that precludes both names of a same-sex married couple from being listed as parents on a child’s birth certificate is an unconstitutional discrimination, considering the Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), which legalized same-sex marriage.

(Related Leading Issues: Gay Liberation Movement, Same-sex marriage, LGBT rights, Human Reproductive Technology) 

U.S. Supreme Court Conference Room via U.S. Supreme Court [public domain]

Each case in SIRS Knowledge Source’s U.S. Supreme Court feature includes a full-text PDF version of the opinion, as well as a concise and easy-to-understand summary explaining the question before the Court and its decision. Cases can be browsed by subject heading, topic, by Constitutional Article and Amendment, or alphabetically. You can also find biographical information on current and past justices, a reference article that explains the role of the Supreme Court and its history, a full-text version of the U.S. Constitution with amendments and historical notes, a list of supplementary references for students and educators, and more.

The Supreme Court’s upcoming term for 2017-2018 began on October 2, and the justices have already agreed to hear 33 cases. These cases involve immigration (President Trump’s controversial travel ban); more gay rights issues (a showdown between religious freedom and state anti-discrimination laws); government surveillance (the use of cell phone location records by police without a warrant); election law (a state’s attempt to clean up its voter rolls, and another election redistricting case); and gambling (sports betting at casinos and racetracks); among others.

Stay tuned for decisions in these important cases, and keep SIRS Knowledge Source in mind when you need easy access to primary source material for lesson plans or student research.

Don’t have SIRS Knowledge Source at your school or library? Free trials are available.

Subscribe via email to the Share This blog and never miss a post.

Find Primary Sources in ProQuest’s Guided Research Resources

Educators need to prepare students with information literacy and learning skills for college and the global marketplace. Common Core State Standards address this need through an emphasis on students’ ability to read and understand informational text. Standards require students to learn how to analyze text, make inferences, cite evidence, interpret vocabulary, and determine authoritative sources.

As students learn how to analyze sources, primary sources are key tools to help them learn to ask questions, think critically, and draw conclusions based on evidence.

ProQuest’s suite of Guided Research resources is your solution to prepare students to think critically with a wealth of primary and secondary sources.

ProQuest Research Companion


Start with ProQuest Research Companion to access 80+ short videos, nine learning modules, and assessment quizzes to teach students everything they need to know to be information literate and ready to research. For a lesson on primary sources, use this short video on primary and secondary sources.


CultureGrams Interview

Interview transcript of Hawa from Djibouti.
Image via CultureGrams.

CultureGrams is a primary source product with editions (World, States, Kids, and Provinces) that offer profiles of countries, U.S. states, and Canadian provinces. CultureGrams editors recruit native or long-term residents of the target culture to serve as writers and/or reviewers for each report, ensuring all reports are first-hand accounts and therefore primary sources. Also see supplementary features that provide more primary source material through photos, videos, interviews, statistics, and recipes.


platform shoes

Video clip from 1973 chronicles the fashion “craze” of the platform shoe
and warns of the shoe’s dangers to feet and legs.
Source: MPI Video via ProQuest eLibrary

Besides a treasure trove of secondary sources and editor-created Research Topics, eLibrary offers collections of primary sources. A History in Documents (Oxford University Press) present a mixture of textual and visual primary source documents. MPI Videos provide insights into topics as diverse as world affairs, fashion, sports, and the arts from various periods in the twentieth century. And the Getty Historical Image collection highlights hundreds of iconic images from the twentieth century.

SIRS Issues Researcher

Primary sources can be narrowed in the results list. Image via ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher.

SIRS Issues Researcher is the premier source for background and analysis of nearly 350 Leading Issues. Analysis and background include primary sources. Start with the SIRS Common Core Guide: Understanding Primary Sources, the step-by-step activity guide to help students analyze primary sources. Every search result can be narrowed by primary sources to find historical documents, speeches, editorial cartoons, and more.

 SIRS Discoverer

In the News, a monthly editorial cartoon feature in Spotlight of the Month Image via ProQuest SIRS Discoverer.

As an online reference source for elementary and middle school, SIRS Discoverer offers primary and secondary sources at a lower reading level than SIRS Issues Researcher, its sister product. Each document is hand-selected at an appropriate Lexile level for its target audience. Access historical primary source maps, graphs, and images in the graphics tab of any search. Find engaging editorial cartoons in the activities section, through search, and via the Spotlight of the Month.

Contact us for more information on how these Guided Research resources can fill your primary source needs or sign up for one of our free monthly webinars.

6 Reasons Why Editorial Cartoons Are an Essential Teaching Tool

“One strong editorial cartoon is worth a hundred solemn editorials.”
—William Zinsser, On Writing Well


CC0 Public Domain, via Pixabay

My seventh-grade social studies teacher gave extra credit to students who brought in editorial cartoons for class discussions. Luckily for me, stacks of newspapers were common in my house. My father was a printing-press operator and a newspaper addict. We got three newspapers daily and sometimes more when my father couldn’t resist a newsstand. So I got a lot of extra credit that year.

Editorial cartoons are all that I remember from that class. My newspaper monopoly aside, I remember being captivated by grown-up cartoons and wanted to understand them, which is how I became interested in current events and issues. I still get excited when I see editorial cartoons. An astute cartoon is an oasis in a wit-starved world.

To accompany our Editorial Cartoons Curriculum Guide, here are six reasons why editorial cartoons are an enduring curriculum essential.

Why do you think editorial cartoons are an essential teaching tool?

Share your thoughts with us on Twitter #ProQuest or in the comments below.

ProQuest editors are continually adding editorial cartoons to ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher. Don’t have it? Request a trial.

TDIH: The Civil War Ends (April 9, 1865)

150 years ago, with the country in its fourth year of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln had been re-elected to a second term. On March 4, 1865, he gave his second inaugural address, and spoke about the war:

“Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came….Fondly do we hope–fervently do we pray–that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away.”Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865

Lee Surrenders to Grant

Gen. Lee Surrenders to Gen. Grant at Appomattox
by Library of Congress via Wikimedia Commons [Public Domain]

Just over a month later, on April 9, 1865, the American Civil War effectively ended when Confederate Army Commander General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at a private home in Appomattox Court House, Virginia. The terrible war that saw the Nation suffer over a million casualties and the deaths of than 620,000 American soldiers–from combat, accident, starvation, and disease–was finally coming to an end. The next day General Lee wrote in a farewell address to his men, known as General Order No 9:

“After four years of arduous service, marked by unsurpassed courage and fortitude, the Army of Northern Virginia has been compelled to yield to overwhelming numbers and resources.”

Using primary sources to engage students in learning and building critical thinking and constructing knowledge is emphasized in the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). For example, the CCSS require secondary students toAnalyze in detail how a complex primary source is structured, including how key sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text contribute to the whole.

Educators, you can help your students explore the Civil War and other topics in U.S. history through primary source documents with SIRS Government Reporter’s Historic Documents feature. Over 325 documents are available–including speeches, legislation, treaties, and others of historical value. Search for documents by title or subject, or browse through an alphabetical list. Each contains the full text of the document, as well as a brief summary explaining its background and significance. Some historic documents that are available on SIRS Government Reporter and related to the Civil War include:

  • Lincoln’s “House Divided” Speech (1858)
  • Lincoln’s First Inaugural Address (1861)
  • Constitution of the Confederate States of America (1861)
  • Emancipation Proclamation (1863)
  • The Gettysburg Address (1863)
  • Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address (1865)
  • Andrew Johnson’s Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon for the Confederate States (1865)

Start using the primary source historic documents available on SIRS Government Reporter in your Common Core-based lesson plans and classroom activities today!

Six ProQuest Resources for Holocaust Remembrance Day

We teach so that genocide on a mass scale, the specialty of the past century, can be circumvented in the future.”
― Bogdan Michalski, Why Should We Teach about the Holocaust?

As the quote above states, learning about genocide is more than a history lesson–it is an essential life lesson. Never forget. For this reason, the United Nations General Assembly designates each January 27–the anniversary of the liberation of concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau–as International Holocaust Remembrance Day. On this day, the United Nations encourages member states to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust and to develop educational programs to prevent future acts of genocide.

As many countries, including Germany, Austria and France, and several U.S. states have mandatory Holocaust education in the schools, I highlight six ProQuest products where you can find a wealth of resources designed to meet the needs of students learning about the Holocaust and genocide.

1. ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher contains a Human Rights Leading Issue, which includes sub issues on Holocaust Denial and Genocide. Here, students can find timelines with links, overviews and articles on multiple perspectives to support their research. Perfect for debates or papers analyzing more than one side to an issue, each sub issue contains an essential question with supporting pro con articles. The Holocaust Denial essential question asks students the following question:

Should Holocaust denial be a crime punishable by law?

human rights

Visual Browse of the Human Rights Leading Issue, ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher


2. eLibrary offers more than fifty well-crafted Research Topic pages on the Holocaust, genocide and related issues. These pages are powerful visual testimonies with links to carefully selected articles, websites as well as a trove of primary source documents, videos and images.  Students can find these pages via keyword search or by clicking on the following link on the search page:

eLibrary link to list of Research Topics

Screenshot of eLibrary link to list of Research Topics

Rescue of the Danish Jews (see below) is one such Research Topic page:

Rescue of the Danish Jews

Example Research Topic Page, ProQuest eLibrary


3. Access CultureGrams to get concise historical overviews and maps of the countries in which the Holocaust occurred. CultureGrams is a fantastic resource full of reliable, up-to-date cultural content, including primary source interviews, videos and more. Students researching the Holocaust can use it to compare contemporary society with the ideologies, policies and governing methods of the totalitarian regimes during the time of the Holocaust.

CultureGrams: Germany

Screenshot of Germany in CultureGrams


4. History Study Center has in-depth study units with historical reference material on the Holocaust, Genocide in the Twentieth Century and more. Each unit includes both primary and secondary sources, including biographies, maps and video clips.

history study center

The Holocaust Study Unit, ProQuest History Study Center


5. Historical Newspapers (Graphical) offers a unique collection on the Holocaust with full-text newspaper articles from that time period. Students can access the collection via the timeline or the Topics tab.

historic newspaper article

Nov. 12, 1938, New York Times article via ProQuest Historical News Graphical


6. ProQuest Research Companion is a terrific resource that supports information literacy, writing and research skills to help students to effectively find, verify and use information. One of the valuable tools in this resource is the Source Evaluation Aid, which provides website information, such as top level domain, site owner and site description. This tool also indicates whether or not a particular site a student accesses online is a possible hate site, which is useful because sometimes it is not readily apparent whether or not a site might belong to a hate group.

Screenshot of the Source Evaluation Aid tool in ProQuest Research Companion

Screenshot of the Source Evaluation Aid tool in ProQuest Research Companion. The red flag alerts users that the website accessed is a possible hate site. The URL entered in this example belongs to the Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust (CODOH), which is listed in the Southern Poverty Law Center as an active Holocaust Denial group.

We are constantly adding new material to our products. If you have suggestions for new Holocaust topics for consideration for our products, feel free to let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

Three ProQuest Resources on the Senate Report on CIA Torture


The 16-foot diameter CIA seal that is inlaid in granite in the lobby of the Old Headquarters Building of the CIA. [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

On December 8, 2014, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released a long-awaited 525-page executive summary of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program with its “enhanced interrogation” practices that were used on detainees accused of terrorism following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The enhanced interrogation included practices such as waterboarding, physical abuse and extreme sleep deprivation. Human rights organizations, President Barack Obama and others have described enhanced interrogation practices as torture. The Senate panel’s findings, obtained from a documentary review of more than six million pages of documents and other materials provided by the CIA, conclude that the enhanced interrogation techniques used by the CIA at secret sites abroad were ineffective and even led to false leads. However, in a December 10, 2014, Wall Street Journal op-ed piece, former CIA Directors George J. Tenet, Porter J. Goss and Michael V. Hayden, as well as three former CIA Deputy Directors argue that the report is one-sided and contains errors of fact and interpretation. The Senate panel findings have sparked widespread debate over the use of torture to gain information and raises critical questions about  the ethics and effectiveness of the CIA’s methods.

Below are three ProQuest products where you can find a wealth of resources – including primary sources — that will give your students a greater depth of knowledge on this topic:

1.  ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher contains a Human Rights Leading Issue, which includes sub issues on Torture and Internment. Here, students can find timelines with links, overviews and articles on multiple perspectives to support their research. Ideal for debates or papers analyzing more than one side to an issue, each sub issue contains an essential question with supporting pro con articles. The Torture essential question asks students the following question:

Is the use of torture on detainees who are suspected terrorists justifiable?


human rights

Visual Browse of the Human Rights Leading Issue, ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher

2. eLibrary offers dozens of well-crafted Research Topic pages on Torture and related issues, including Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and the 9/11 Attacks (2001). These pages are embedded with links to carefully selected articles and websites as well as a trove of primary source documents, videos and images.  Students can find these pages via keyword search or by clicking on the “Find your Research Topic here” link on the search page:

research topics

Torture (see below) is one such Research Topic page:

Torture Research Topic Page

Torture Research Topic Page, ProQuest eLibrary


3. DNSA (Digital National Security Archive) contains an online collection of significant declassified documents concerning U.S. foreign and military policy from 1945 to the present. One of the collections within DNSA is CIA Covert Operations: From Carter to Obama, 1977-2010. Here, you can access primary source emails, memos and other key documents that offer a unique insight into the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques.



ProQuest Digital National Security Archive

We are constantly adding new material to our products. If you have suggestions for new topics for consideration for either our eLibrary Research Topic pages or our SIRS Researcher Leading Issues, feel free to let us know in the comments section below or tweet us at #ProQuest.

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation

The First Thanksgiving

“The First Thanksgiving” by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris [Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons

Thanksgiving is a particularly American holiday. Tradition traces it back to sometime during the fall of 1621. Only half of the original 102 passengers who had sailed on the Mayflower and landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts the previous December had lived through that first winter. The surviving Pilgrims joined their Wampanoag Indian neighbors for a three-day feast to celebrate the autumn harvest. Contrary to common belief, the celebration was not repeated.

It was nearly 55 years later when the governing council of Charlestown, Massachusetts held a meeting to determine how best to express thanks for the good fortune that had seen their community securely established. They issued what is known as the First Thanksgiving Proclamation, declaring a day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on June 29, 1676. Later, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the 26th of November 1789 a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer.” In 1863, during the Civil War, President Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November as a national day of Thanksgiving. For the first time, Thanksgiving became a national, annual holiday with a specific date. It was celebrated on that day until 1939, when President Franklin Roosevelt caused a national uproar by moving the date up one week to allow an extra week of Christmas shopping as the Nation’s economy was still recovering from the Great Depression. For two years, Thanksgiving was celebrated on two different days throughout the country. On October 6, 1941, Congress ended the confusion by enacting a joint resolution declaring the last Thursday in November to be the legal federal holiday of Thanksgiving Day.

Goverment Reporter Historic Documents

Historic Documents Page in SIRS Government Reporter

The First Thanksgiving Proclamation is one of over 325 full text historic documents available on SIRS Government Reporter. Educators that need primary sources to support teaching with the Common Core State Standards or other curriculum needs can choose from speeches, treaties, legislation and other selected works of exceptional historic value that cover dates from 1215 (Magna Carta) up to the present (President Obama’s 2014 State of the Union Address). All documents are searchable by title, subject heading, or alphabetically, and each includes a summary explaining the background and significance of the document.

Turn to SIRS Government Reporter‘s Historic Documents feature for your primary source curriculum requirements, or learn more about the history and evolution of the Thanksgiving holiday at these websites from SIRS WebSelect:

Investigating the First Thanksgiving

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving in North America: From Local Harvests to National Holiday

The Year We Had Two Thanksgivings

Meet Common Core Standards with Primary Sources

Underwood Typewriter
By Kroton (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

I once worked at a museum exhibit where the most popular artifact among tech-armed students was an Underwood Typewriter. Many of the students had never seen a manual typewriter before, let alone used one. They were downright captivated by feeding paper, pressing keys, unjamming letters, and moving over the carriage. The most common question: “How do you fix a typo?” An early twentieth-century typewriter provided students a tangible link to the past, while inspiring questions and wonderment. This typewriter illustrates the power of primary sources.

Primary Sources

Primary sources are invaluable because they are original, first-hand materials about people, places, or events created by people who were personally involved. They come in many forms: advertisements, court records, government documents, interviews, newspapers, objects, photographs, press releases, and speeches—just to name a few. Analyzing primary sources is a great way for students to connect with history.

Primary Sources and Common Core Standards

Although primary source analysis is nothing new, Common Core State Standards have renewed efforts to incorporate more informational texts into curricula. The standards require that students be able to find, analyze, and evaluate primary sources. The benefits of introducing primary sources into lesson plans are twofold: they engage students by enlivening historical events, and they help students meet Common Core Standards.

Here are a few Common Core Standards that relate to primary sources:

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Analyzing Primary Sources

A Common Core-aligned primary source analysis should cover three major steps:

  • Find primary sources on a subject of interest
  • Analyze primary sources, paying attention to key ideas & details, craft & structure, and knowledge integration
  • Apply Knowledge by evaluating and making conclusions about primary sources


Check out these resources:

  • Find: SIRS Issues Researcher offers plenty of primary sources. Students can narrow their search results to include only primary sources.
  • Analyze: Our step-by-step, Common Core-aligned guide, Understanding Primary Sources, will help students analyze primary sources.
  • Apply Knowledge: Our guide will also prompt students to draw conclusions about primary sources.

Analyzing primary sources will engage students and help them meet Common Core Standards simultaneously. And they might just have a little fun, too.

Teaching with Editorial Cartoons

ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher database is rich in graphic content, including a large collection of editorial cartoons that offer insight into key social issues of the past and present. Editorial cartoons can be valuable learning tools for young researchers. Students are naturally drawn to cartoons, and these primary source documents grab their attention, are thought-provoking, and are often quite funny. Assignments based on analyzing editorial cartoons can help students develop the visual literacy and critical thinking skills they will need as they continue their education.

Many of the 335 SIRS Issues Researcher Leading Issues highlight editorial cartoons. These cartoons can help students understand the pros and cons of the issue and encourage them to learn more about it. Here are just a few examples of Leading Issues that use editorial cartoons that may spark an interest in your students: Body Image, Business Ethics, Controversial Mascots, Cursive Writing, Helicopter Parents, Internet and Mobile Advertising and Tanning Salons.

Find Primary Sources in eLibrary

eLibrary is well regarded as a source of premier secondary sources like The Economist, The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times and Popular Science to name just a few of the thousands of active and historic periodicals represented in the K12 product. However, it is less well known that there are a plethora of primary source documents available in eLibrary K12 as well.Bounty

For example, there are a number of books in the Oxford University Press Pages from History series included with 100% full-text and inline images and captions.  The Series offers a mixture of textual and visual primary source documents, including diaries, letters, sermons, newspaper columns, and poems supplemented and explained by compelling narrative text. The documents are ideal length for classroom discussion and are inviting to visually-oriented students. The list of titles appear below:

  • The American Revolution: A History in Documents
  • The Bill of Rights: A History in Documents
  • The Civil War: A History in Documents
  • The Cold War: A History in Documents
  • Colonial America: A History in Documents
  • Encounters in the New World: A History in Documents
  • The Gilded Age: A History in Documents
  • Twentieth Century China: A History in Documents
  • The Vietnam War: A History in Documents
  • World War I: A History in Documents

The World Book Year Books and World Book Science Year Books offer a listing of the most significant world events of each year.  Published since 1921, the World Book Year Book is known as an authoritative reference in the field and provides insight into what the conventional wisdom was about the events & people cataloged in the volume of a particular year.

For example, the entry for the year 1963 on Smoking, details the Surgeon General’s report on the health effects of smoking, but includes a comment by the then American Medical Association president: “Dr. Edward R. Annis urged everyone to ‘give careful attention’ to the report, but said, ‘it is unrealistic to assume that the American people are suddenly going to quit smoking.‘”

The 1927 entry on the early experiments in the creation of television posited: “It is confidently expected that within a few years a family may sit in front of the radio and see action pictures of any athletic event, as a baseball or football game, or may see a statesman in his familiar poses as he delivers an address to a thousand people.

Getty images

Short video clips from the MPI Media group offer insights into topics as diverse as world affairs, fashion, sports and the arts from various periods in the Twentieth Century.

The Getty Historical Image collection offers hundreds of iconic images from the Twentieth Century, perfect for inclusion in student or teacher presentations.