at Eastern Illinois University 


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Filling the Gaps with Primary Sources: Recognizing Gaps between Trade Books and Content and Filling Them with Primary Sources

Updated with Thanksgiving content! 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 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  Historical documents are rich and free on websites like The Library of Congress.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.  We are still working on this project, so please check back often and share your thoughts or ideas.

Cindy Rich, PhD
Project Director
John H. Bickford, PhD
Department of Early Childhood,
Elementary and Middle Level Education


Site Content

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. 


To learn which event is right for you or to discover more details about each event click here!

One day, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.


caSchool Year Coaches Academy (Spring cohort info coming soon) A full day meeting followed by 2.5 hour meetings in every other month 
(time and place determined by cohort)

2015 - 2016 School Year
What can TPS EIU do to support efforts to teach with primary sources in your school during the coming year? Refresher workshops for those of you we haven't seen in a while? Introductory sessions for new faculty? Help with facilitating collaborative meetings to plan instructional activities? Talk to us about things successful past events or your ideas for new workshops or meetings! Email Cindy at

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

Join the TPS Teachers Network

Check out the Network Intro Video and register to join a community of educators discussing strategies, sharing resources, connecting with colleagues, and more. Be sure to join the TPS EIU Group and any others that interest you. In addition to TPS EIU, I also help lead the Supporting Literacy with Primary Sources and Bookmarks! groups. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me for information or help. I hope to see you on the network! ~ Cindy


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


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


Resource Spotlight

 Teach with Lincoln

Teaching with Lincoln
We have moved the site created for the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial to our server. You will find links to resources for teachers and students here. If you had this site bookmarked, please change the link!





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 11.5.15


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