at Eastern Illinois University 

Filling the Gaps screenshot

Filling the Gaps with Primary Sources

Coming in April 2015! Trade books are popular curricular resources for elementary, middle level, and high school teachers. The engaging narratives personalize history and capture learners’ attention. We have found that children’s and young adult literature has all sorts of historical misrepresentations. These pages will detail, for you, the historical gaps.

These historical gaps within trade books, though, can be easily filled with primary sources.  Historical documents are rich and free on websites like The Library of Congress.  These pages will guide you towards illustrative informational texts to fill the gaps within children’s and young adult literature.

For each topic you will find multiple gaps and examples of how primary sources can be utilized, a collection of primary sources and a list of books used for this research.  Please come back in April to visit the new pages! 

Cindy Rich, PhD
Project Director

John H. Bickford, PhD
Department of Early Childhood, Elementary 
and Middle Level Education

Site Contents

Content in the center of each page of this site will change, but the side navigation bars  remain the same throughout the site.  On this index page you will find
What is
Teaching with
Primary Sources?
& Opportunities

News, Announcements and Opportunities




TPS EIU Professional Development information! Check out our PD page to learn about the options we offer. 


Summer 2015!
Watch here for updates coming soon.

   @TeachingLC (Follow the Library's Ed Outreach on twitter!)

Wanted: Teachers to Serve as the Library of Congress Teacher-in-Residence During the 2015-16 Academic Year

Since 2000, the Library of Congress has recruited K-12 teachers to work with Educational Outreach staff to help teachers incorporate the Library’s collections of digitized primary sources into high-quality instruction. Previous Teachers-in-Residence have led professional development workshops, represented the Library at various conferences across the United States, and developed teaching materials and lesson plans using the Library’s digitized primary sources for national distribution.

They are now recruiting teachers for the 2015-2016 academic year. For the first time they will have two Teachers-in-Residence, each with a specific focus:

  • Science: One teacher will spend a year working at the Library focusing on ways to bring primary sources into the science classroom. This teacher will contribute to the development of K-12 programming and materials, advise on effective ways to provide outreach to science teachers and help locate and make visible science-related primary sources from the Library’s collections.
  • Audio-visual: The other teacher will work with education and audio-visual collections staff to identify and help teachers become aware of the many primary sources found within the audio and video collections held at the Library. This teacher will also help develop programming and materials for the K-12 community and provide outreach to teachers.

Information on the program and a link to the application form can be found here. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, April 7th


LOC video screenshotVideos
Are you a visual learner? Do you want a great resource to share with students and parents? Check out these videos -


3/19 at 4 PM ET A co-presentation of Teaching Tolerance and the Library of Congress. This session will examine the five essential practices for teaching about the Civil Rights Movement – educate for empowerment, know how to talk about race, capture the unseen, tell a complicated story, and connect to the present. Education experts will model how the "Circle of Viewpoints" teaching strategy can be used to identify different perspectives using a series of primary sources about civil rights. Register


4/7 at 4 PM ET Hangout with Historic Newspapers The purpose of this panel is to highlight the historic newspapers available through Chronicling America and discuss teaching strategies for using the materials with students. Registration information coming soon. 

For information about webinars offered through the Library's Educational Outreach Professional Outreach initiative click here.


Resource Spotlight

 Teach with Lincoln

Teaching with Lincoln
We have moved the site that we created for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial to our local server. You will find links to resources for teachers and students here. If you had this site bookmarked, please change the link! If you aren't familiar with the site - take a look!


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TPS EIU at NCSS '14 
In November, Dr. Cindy Rich presented a poster session at the NCSS annual conference in Boston with Dr. Anne Bell, TPS University of Northern Colorado. The presentation was titled "Social Studies Strong: Building Literacy Muscle with Primary Sources". For information and links to resources, click the image of the poster or title above. 


Podcast - Join Cindy for TechTalk4Teacher podcasts with EIU colleagues, Dr. Tom Grissom, Instructional Technology Center Director and Mike Gioia, Asst. Dir. of Information Security. Casts cover a variety of education technology topics and each host brings unique perspective and expertise.


What is Teaching with Primary Sources?

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution, is the world’s preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Founded in 1800, the Library seeks to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, which bring to bear the world’s knowledge in almost all of the world’s languages and America’s private sector intellectual and cultural creativity in almost all formats. The Library seeks to spark the public’s imagination and celebrate human achievement through its programs and exhibits.

In doing so, the Library helps foster the informed and involved citizenry upon which American democracy depends. Today, the Library serves the public, scholars, Members of Congress and their staff—all of whom seek information, understanding and inspiration. Many of the Library’s rich resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s award-winning Web site

The mission of the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) program is to: build awareness of the Library’s educational initiatives; provide content that promotes the effective educational use of the Library’s resources; and offer access to and promote sustained use of the Library’s educational resources.

The Library achieves this mission through collaborations between the Library and the K-12 educational community across the United States. The program contributes to the quality of education by helping teachers use the Library’s digitized primary sources to engage students, develop their critical thinking skills and construct knowledge.  Learn more about the Library’s TPS program and other resources available to teachers at

Members of the TPS Educational Consortium assist in the design of the TPS program and offer TPS professional development on an ongoing basis, year round. Visit to view a list of current Consortium members and their respective states.

Funded by a grant from the Library of Congress, the Teaching with Primary Sources program at Eastern Illinois University has been actively collaborating with Central Illinois K-12 educators since the program inception in January 2004.  We are proud to support the goals and mission of the national TPS program through workshops and presentations at no cost. TPS was brought to the EIU campus thanks to the efforts of Senator Dick Durbin.

We welcome your comments and ideas about our site. Please email us if you would like to see something new or have an idea for a theme.
Updated 3.12.15


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Contact Information

Teaching with Primary Sources
Eastern Illinois University
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920

Director: Cindy Rich, Ph.D.  



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