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Chats are moderated by Library of Congress staff and include participants from across the nation and around the world.

View the discussion shared in past chats by reading the transcripts of the session. Click a chat date to read its transcript.

You may participate in chats as a guest or a registered member (register for free membership).
Date Topic
January 19, 2006 The Great Depression
This chat was a collaboration between the Social Studies Forum and the Library of Congress. Special Library guest, Susan Mordan from LOC Exhibitions, shared the beautiful Bound for Glory Exhibition. Participants engaged in a document analysis activity using the famous Migrant Mother image. A new Primary Source Set on the Dust Bowl was shared, as well.
December 15, 2005 Music in America
Collections of sound recordings, primary source song sheets, sheet music and special content for educators were shared. Participants learned about the Song of America Tour and the Teacher Institutes within these tours. They were pleased to find resources in the new Civil War Music primary source set that they could share in their classrooms.
September 15, 2005 We the People
Participants discussed their teaching plans for the requirements of Constitution day. Library of Congress primary source content to support this teaching was shared. To the delight of chat participants, a Primary Source Set with downloadable documents, images, and sound files was introduced.
June 16, 2005 The Environment
Library of Congress resources about the environment were shared. Participants shared some excellent resources, as well. Discussion of an environment lesson led to further talk of found poetry.
May 19, 2005 Literature and Poetry
Participants shared strategies for teaching poetry and literature with primary sources, such as: Book Backdrops, Hyperlinked Poetry, and Found Poetry. In addition, unique resources from the Library's web site were shared.
March 17, 2005 Her Story: Women's History
Participants considered how history can be taught in a manner that includes all participants in its making - regardless of their gender, age or ethnicity. Resources that share women's perspectives and the roles they played in shaping the events of our nation were shared, as were lesson plans and other materials of particular use to teachers and students. At the end of the chat, a new Learning Page activity, Pages from Her Story, was shared.
February 17, 2005 Civil War
Participants considered the idea of a divided nation and discussed issues that divide the U.S. today. Primary source material on the Civil War was shared, as were lesson plans and other materials of particular use to teachers and students.
January 20, 2005 Civil Rights
Consideration of the broad topic of "civil rights" in today's worldwide political environments led to thought provoking exchanges. Many primary source resource materials about the African American quest for equality were shared with participants.
December 16, 2004 Music in America
As primary source song sheets, sound recordings and related content were shared, participants discussed the special role that music has in our lives. It was agreed that music is central to the lives of students. Participants were pleased to find resources they could share in their classrooms.
November 18, 2004 Political Cartoons
Participants discussed the nature of political cartoons as well as the merits of using them with students. All agreed that establishing background knowledge and developing visual literacy skills are prerequisites to the use of political cartoons in classroom curriculum. Numerous cartoon-related Library of Congress Web pages were shared.
October 21, 2004

This chat focused on Library of Congress historical resources to enhance teaching about elections in the United States. Participants shared student perceptions and teaching realities about the heated presidential election in this pre-election month, as well.

September 16, 2004 Labor in America
In a pre- presidential election period, when issues and trends about the American workforce are being discussed nationally, this chat proved timely. Participants reflected upon lessons from the past and made comparisons to today's shifting realities for the U.S. labor force. Many resources from the Library of Congress' Web site were shared. The links in this chat transcript allow you to visit these shared web resources on your own, at your pace.
June 17, 2004

Vacation-ready educators discussed how and when they enjoy leisure time. Resources from the Library of Congress about leisure time and summer activities were shared. An interesting discussion about the tensions between "high stakes" teaching/testing and making education an enjoyable experience for teachers and students ensued. The links in this chat transcript allow you to visit these shared sites on your own, at your own pace.

May 20, 2004 War and Peace
In this chat, we discussed the special significance of this topic at this time in history. We agreed that students are full of questions and have a great need to talk about what they see and hear about today’s war-torn world. Resources from the Library of Congress' collections were shared in rapid-fire fashion. The links in this chat transcript allow you to visit these shared sites on your own, at your pace.
April 15, 2004 Exploration and Explorers
Discussions about how best to use the Library's resources with young students, about linking literature and the social studies, about the needs of teachers and students and how online resources can meet those needs, made our time together fly! Shared resources from the Library of Congress' many web sites sparked this lively exchange. Use the links in this chat transcript to visit these sites on your own, at your leisure.
March 18, 2004 Her Story
This lively and interactive session focused on resources about Women's History through the sharing of Library of Congress Web sites of special interest to educators and their students. The questions and comments posed by this group of enthusiastic participants may be of particular interest to other educators who use the Library of Congress Web sites.
February 19, 2004 Civil Rights
Our special guest was Kahlil Chism, an Education Specialist with the National Archives and Records Administration. Resources for teaching about Civil Rights were shared – from both the Library of Congress Web sites and from the Web sites of the National Archives.
January 22, 2004 Branding of America
This session focused on Library of Congress resources for themes and topics relating to advertising. The Branding of America collaborative activity was shown, and participants were invited to participate with the Library in this project.
December 18, 2003 Science and Invention
"Mystery Images" prompted a discussion of how to guide student observation when using engaging, but often puzzling, primary sources. A guided tour of resources to teach about science and invention wrapped up the chat.
November 20, 2003 The People ... Native Americans
Resources from the Library's Web sites were shared, precipitating an exchange of of ideas and strategies for teaching about the treatment of the Native American in the United States.
October 16, 2003 Immigration
The lively discussion included consideration of how to "do" history and the sharing of resources from the Library's Web sites. Participants were invited to "Make History with the Library of Congress" by participating in collaborative activities on the Learning Page.
September 18, 2003 From Fantasy to Flight
The chat was cancelled due to connectivity issues caused by Hurricane Isabel. Resources for flight are available in the Community Center.
August 21, 2003 Baseball...As American as Apple Pie
Resources from the Library's many Web sites were shared. We considered why and how baseball reflects America's cultural values.
July 31, 2003 Lewis and Clark
Educational specialists from the Learning Page and Exhibitions shared primary source materials from the Library's online exhibition as well as the Learning Page. The lively chat included a discussion of WebQuests under development by ND educators, and an online, collaborative project in development by a CA educator. Links to all resources discussed in the chat can be found in this transcript.
July 16, 2003 What's New for YOU at the Library of Congress?
While participating in the Tapped IN Summer Festival, Library staff shared recent additions to the Library's Web sites. All mentioned links are included in this transcript.
May 15, 2003 War and Peace
Our special guest was John Fitzgerald - teacher of 32 years, awarded combat veteran of the Vietnam War, and co-author of, "The Vietnam War: A History in Documents." The chat moved from sharing primary source documents from the Library of Congress to teach about wars past, to a discussion of recent wars and how we can help our students grapple with the critical but sensitive issues of war and peace - past, present and future.
April 17, 2003 We the People
This session was joined by special guest Don Ritchie, author and Associate Historian of the U.S. Senate. The focus was the teaching of civics, government, and the history of America's constitutional tradition. Internet resources, with information both historic and current, were shared.
March 20, 2003

Her Story
This session focused on the roles played by women throughout American history. Resources from the American Memory collections, America's Library, Library of Congress Exhibitions, the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library, and the Learning Page were included. The transcript contains the URLs for the sites visited in this chat session.

February 12, 2003

Civil Rights
This session was hosted by Michael Hutchinson, The Social Studies Forum, with Leni Donlan, The Learning Page. Special guests included Jackie Glover, producer of the HBO documentary, Unchained Memories; and Bennett Singer, Time Classroom, who created an educator's guide and teaching materials to accompany this documentary. The discussion focused on African-American history, giving special attention to slave narratives and other resources from The Library of Congress. The transcript contains the URLs for the sites visited in this discussion.

January 16, 2003

Branding of America
This session focused on advertising. A new interactive activity, based on a variety of products from around America, was introduced. The transcript contains the URLs for the sites visited in this discussion.

December 5, 2002

America the Beautiful
This session focused on sharing the online map resources of the Library of Congress. Several types of maps were discussed and samples were shown. The transcript contains the URLs for the sites visited in this discussion.

November 7, 2002

Discussion initially focused on participants sharing their stellar ideas for observing holidays in schools, then shifted to a showing of the resources offered in the Holiday section of the Community Center.

October 17, 2002

Discussion included the changes observed in immigration patterns over the years, as well as collaborative thinking about what we want students to understand about immigration.

October 3, 2002 Immigration
Discussion centered around an introduction to the Community Center and the sharing of specific resources on the topic of Immigration.

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Last updated 06/24/2005