at Eastern Illinois University 


Online Conference 2015:
The Library of Congress and Teachers Unlocking the Power of Primary Sources 10/27 & 10/28

Please join us and be part of the Library's first online conference for K-12 educators. This webinar based conference will be offered on two evenings with recordings available for those unable to join the live event. 

TPS EIU's own Cindy Rich has been invited to present a session titled, Building Literacy Muscle with Primary Sources The session description explains - Strengthen teaching by incorporating primary sources to build student literacy skills while also engaging them,  increasing content knowledge and promoting inquiry. This session shares examples of instructional strategies which use diverse and thoughtfully selected primary sources to develop understanding, academic language and fluency, freeing students to focus on content!

The Conference
The Library of Congress and Teachers Unlocking the Power of Primary Sources
The conference will run from 4-8pm ET on October 27-28. Over the course of two days, there will be 15 one-hour sessions facilitated by Library specialists, instructional experts from the Library’s Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium, and other recognized K-12 leaders. Click the title above to learn more or click here for a convenient schedule

Professional Development Credit - Earn certificates for participating in sessions, each session will be recorded and certificates will also be available for a limited time to those who view the recordings.

The events are free, but registration is required. For more information and to register, click here. For a convenient list of sessions and schedule prepared by TPS EIU with links to registration pages, click here

!! Register here for Building Literacy Muscle with Primary Sources  on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 at  5:00 PM - 6:00 PM CDT.

Thank you!


Filling the Gaps screenshot

Filling the Gaps with Primary Sources

Updated! 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  Historical documents are rich and free on websites like The Library of Congress.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 10.5.15


Teaching with Primary Sources logo

Eastern logo


TPS EIU Calendar



  • Examining the Historical Representation of Thanksgiving within Primary and Intermediate Children’s Literature
    Bickford, J. and Rich, C. Journal of Children’s Literature. V41 n1 Spring 2015 pp 5-21

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