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Primary Sources Starter Pack for Teachers: Home

Because every Subject has a History

Welcome to History

Every subject has a history and every student of that subject needs to know and understand that history. As teachers, we can engage our students with primary sources across all walks of life and within every subject area.  

Think out of the box and mix it up:  how about the influence of the automobile on music?   For your CTE students: what do house builders or rennovators today need to know about the materials used to build houses in the 1800s? How about in the 1200s?  What can we learn about climate change from the protests in the 1960s and 70s? 

Happy exploring!

Find your topic..then dig in!

Guide List


Farming, environment
land use (use with Food, Medicine, Health guide)

Audio & Visual Sources

Television. Radio ads. Photography. Art. Museums specific to art. Architecture


Fashion. Music. Car culture. Poetry & Lit. Kids. 
Homelife, Magazines, and Newspapers.  and just plain FUN stuff


History happens in places. Look here for maps, and lessons using location. 

Food, Medicine, Health

Staying healthy, eating well. How did we eat throughout history?


Math, Economics & Data

Statistics of all kinds (check here for the data from your subject),
Census. Economics. Data.

National Museums & Archives
 National Archives, Library of Congress, Smithsonian, Presidential Libraries, University 


Finding Local primary sources

Environment, Chemistry, Space,
Inventions, Earth

Career Technical Education

U.S. Government
About the government, by the government, primary sources abound.

U.S. History
Thematic check-ins.


Use this guide with the U.S. History Perspectives Guide - they go together!

U.S. History perspectives
History unfolds from many perspectives.

Use this guide with the U.S. History Guide - they go together!

U.S. Civil War, Revolution, Vietnam, World Wars, Korean War   / Genocide education

World History
Ancient, medieval, Asia & the Pacific


"A quick view of Primary Source possibilities" powerpoint from the CCCS 2023 presentation.

The images in the presentation are
not live links - Look for them in this guide... or use your browser to find
the organization or site.



 MY BLOG POSTS from other sites -


It's March, Time to Talk Girl Talk
Time for a Story: Yours
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
Curiosity & Serendipity
Got Civics?


Other blog posts from Knowledge Quest. 


Let's chat!

Gallery- Click on a picture to dig deeper

What ARE primary sources?

About primary sources : Welcome to the 'good stuff' of history. 

List of Historical Museums & Societies

Scroll through this fabulous list of museums, Historical Societies, Tribal Preservation Organizations. Search all 50 states.


Check out DocsTeach

From Ken Burns - movies loaded with primary sources; ripe for all subject areas.

NASA for Educators

Lessons, NASA missions - not just science...

Presidential Libraries

Best kept secret ever - share it!


 This is not a definitive source for primary sources- it's a 'starter pack' to jump-start your exploration into primary sources.   

All these sites are filled to the brim with resources useable with any subject. They include secondary sources for you to use as you plan your lessons but all link to the primary sources that they're highlighting.  

For your classes:  think out of the box and you have combos like:
marine biology and the moon landing,
women's rights and wartime gardens,
bearded presidents and blogs.  
Up your game with your students and share the wealth of fun, information, and stories that make up our history.

  Please feel free to contact me with ideas for sources to include, and any other ideas you might have to make it useful and interesting. Thank you.

 Much of this comes from my work researching and writing:
Understanding Government Information: a Teaching Strategy Toolkit for grades 7-12Libraries Unlimited, 2017.

Books you should know about: mostly about teaching, big ideas, and thinking 'out of the box'...
Make Just One Change:: Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions: Luz Santana and Dan Rothstein

Making Curriculum Pop: Developing Literices in all Content Areas: by Pam Goble and Ryan Goble

The Back of the Napkin: by Dan Roam


While not specifically primary source related, government information librarians contributed to this book: 

What can U.S. Government Information do for Me? hosting chapters on energy, data, the Census, National Park Service and more. I am honored to have been a part of it. Check it out!