Resources and activities for the classroom

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The following resources and activities have been collected to help educators with ready-made lessons in using and evaluating primary and secondary source materials. The activities can be adapted for use with 14–19-year-old learners.

Library of Congress 

The U.S. Library of Congress has developed resources and lessons for teachers which are designed to help students analyze and use primary source materials. 

The following are a selection from the collection of ready-made lesson plans which can be used or adapted for language B or ab initio classes. 

Around the World in 1896 

A three-week research project plan designed to have students explore the European and American perceptions and misconceptions of the world outside of their experience at the turn of the 19th to 20th century.  

Family Customs Past and Present: Exploring Cultural Rituals 

A two-week plan designed for students to “investigate rituals and customs of various cultures”. Language acquisition classes can explore the theme of “experiences” with this plan. The resulting oral presentation will help students to practice target language speaking and interactive skills. 

French Canadian Immigrants in New England 

A two-week lesson plan designed to explore French Canadian immigration in New England in the late 19th/early 20th centuries, the life of these immigrants and their values/beliefs. This will help students understand the impact of French-Canadian immigration, and also help students build French target language proficiencies. 

German Immigrants: Their Contributions to the Upper Midwest 

A two-week lesson plan designed to explore German immigration in the American upper Midwest in the late 19th/early 20th centuries and in so doing understand the contributions German immigrants made “to the region's cultural heritage”. Engaging with this lesson will help students build German language proficiencies. 


Building critical thinking skills with primary sources: investigating beyond facts 

A resource that provides information and activities on how to identify and use primary sources to build critical thinking skills with a focus on those activities which are student-centred and directed.