Kids & Parents

Kid Friendly Primary Sources

The new common core standards call for the use of primary source documents and first person historical accounts as early as 4th grade. Kid friendly primary sources can be hard to find. Let us do the leg work for you! We've combed our collection and the internet for some great resources for kids. Here are some of the highlights.

The Log of Christopher Columbus

The Log of Christopher Columbus

A primary source turned picture book! This resource presents excerpts from Columbus’s diary during his 1492 journey. With short text blocks with full color illustrations on each page, this is an excellent tool for introducing children to the concept of a primary source document.

The Library of Congress

Library of Congress Primary Source Sets

The Library of Congress has culled their collection of historic documents, images, oral histories and sound recordings to put together curriculum themed sets for teachers. Each batch of sources includes a teacher’s guide to help you integrate the materials into your lesson plans. Topics include the constitution, Abraham Lincoln, the Wright brothers, women’s suffrage, westward expansion and much, much more! Click here to check them out.

World War I: Letters from the Battlefront

World War I: Letters from the Battlefront

This resource documents the experiences of U.S. soldiers fighting in World War I through excerpts from letters and diaries. Each short passage of primary source material is well contextualized with roughly two pages of secondary text. A few propaganda and recruitment posters are also reproduced. The book includes charts, a timeline, and a glossary.

On the Home Front Growing up in Wartime England

On the Home Front: Growing up in Wartime England

Find out firsthand what British civilian life was like during World War II. The author weaves descriptions of her war time experience as a small child through clearly explained context. The result is a very readable, informative and kid-friendly text.

We're Alive and Life Goes on

We're Alive and Life Goes on: A Theresienstadt Diary

The diary of a 20 year old Jewish women beginning on the first day of her internment in Thereseinstadt, a model relocation camp that the Nazi's set up in in Prague to mask the true atrocities of their death camps in Poland. Unlike other diaries, these entries are narrative and readable, written in complete sentences that go beyond bare bone factual accounts of the days activities. The diary includes period photographs of the author and of documents related to the text.

Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper's Daughter

Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper's Daughter

The edited oral history of one woman's childhood rural in Texas. This excellent resource describes racial discrimination and poverty in words children can understand. Page long chapters and warm, vibrant illustrations make this title a friendly independent read. As an oral history, this title is also well suited for reading aloud in class.

Powerful Words: More than 200 year of extraordinary writings by African Americans

Powerful Words: More Than 200 Years of Extraordinary Writing by African Americans

A collection of writings by African Americans. Each writing is about one page in length, and is proceeded but a page of contextual information, and followed by a brief biography of the author, and a paragraph regarding the response the writing received. Become familiar with the contents of this book, and it will become one of your go to sources throughout the year. Highly recommended.

Through My Eyes

Through My Eyes

Ruby Bridges describes her experience as a six year old pioneer of school integration in New Orleans. Her narrative is interspersed with the testimony of her teacher and other people around her. The book is illustrated with period photographs.

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