at Eastern Illinois University 

Register now! for
TPS EIU Summer Professional Development!

We are pleased to announce three unique PD events for east-central Illinois teachers. To learn which event is right for you or to discover more details about each event click here!

Essentials Exploration (intro, one day, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
Monday, 6/22 (deadline to apply is 6/12)
or Thursday, 7/30 (deadline to apply is 7/17)

Literacy and Primary Sources Institute (deadline to apply is 5/1)
Monday, 7/13  
and Saturday, 7/18 - 21

TPS EIU Coaches Academy
Summer Coaches Academy (deadline to apply is 5/12)
Wednesday 6/3 & Thursday 6/4 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. and Friday 6/5 9 a.m. - noon

School Year Coaches Academy (deadline to apply is 6/30)
Monday, 8/3 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. followed by 2.5 hour meetings in September, November, February and April (time and place determined by cohort)


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  Historical documents are rich and free on websites like The Library of Congress.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


Click here for TPS EIU Summer 2015 Professional Development news!

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

Student Discovery Sets – Free Ebooks
Put primary sources in your students’ hands with these free ebooks. Interactive tools let students zoom in, draw to highlight details, and conduct open-ended primary source analysis.


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


4/16 at 4 PM ET 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


4/23 at 4 PM ET Primary Sources and Chronicling America 
Library staff will model primary source teaching strategies and highlight the historic newspapers available through Chronicling America project. Register

5/7 at 4 PM ET English Learners, Common Core and Primary Sources
How can time-strapped teachers find and use free resources from the online collections of the Library of Congress? Join us for a discussion with an ESOL Teacher from Syracuse to understand how the Library of Congress supports teaching and learning at all grade and language proficiency levels. Library experts will share strategies on analyzing primary sources to enhance the development of critical and analytical thinking skills. The ESOL practitioner will share her experiences with how the primary sources can address CCSS – including practice with complex texts and academic language, the use of text-based evidence to support claims, and building knowledge through non-fiction resources. Register

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!


NCSS poster image

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 4.16.15


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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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