It’s mid-August and the start of the education year is looming, so I’m thinking about resources for teaching and learning. Recently I ran across a government publication from 1913, “Teaching Material in Government Publications” (bit.ly/1913teach) that was a bibliographic list of government documents that included information that could be used by K-12 teachers. Back in those days it was harder to find teaching resources, and the document introduction notes that even when there was information in government publications it was often buried and could be hard to identify, so this teaching material was created to select and classify useful educational content.
Ninety-nine years later it is much easier for teachers, students, homeschoolers and those engaging in informal or lifelong learning to locate federal government materials that are education focused — many government sites have excellent materials easily available on their websites. I’m going to highlight some of the government departments and agencies that provide educational material online. Many of these sites have newsletters that you can sign up for to be updated with new lesson plans and resources.
The Library of Congress (bit.ly/LoCEducation) has so much, including lesson plans, research guides, digitized newspapers, American history and poetry. I’m going to highlight their outstanding collections of primary sources and their primary source analysis tool, which can be used as a guide for students. I particularly noted a blog post focused on teaching art and math using cool infographic-like charts created by African-American sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois.