Saturday, February 1, 2014

Primary Sources Key to Writing Nonfiction Books for Children

Using primary sources is more important than ever when writing for children.

Here is a list of government sites that maintain digital copies of primary sources.
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1. American Memory Collection: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html
2. Library of Congress Teacher’s Page: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/
3. Library of Congress Primary Source Sets  http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/
4. Professional Development Resources: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/professionaldevelopment/
5. National Archives Docs Teach site: http://docsteach.org/documents
6. National Archives Docs Teach site, by Historical Era: http://docsteach.org/documents
7. Presidential Libraries: http://www.archives.gov/presidential-libraries/
8. The Smithsonian Education site: http://smithsonianeducation.org/educators/index.html

According to the Indiana University Library, this is what constitutes a primary source:

A primary source provides direct or firsthand evidence about an event, object, person or work of art. Primary source materials can be written and non-written, the latter including sound, picture, and artifact. Examples of primary sources include:
  • personal correspondence and diaries
  • works of art and literature
  • speeches and oral histories
  • audio and video recordings
  • photographs and posters
  • newspaper ads and stories
  • laws and legislative hearings
  • census or demographic records
  • plant and animal specimens
  • coins and tools





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