As the new school year begins, the Library of Congress
invites students everywhere to touch, draw on and explore some of its most valuable treasuresall via a new set of free interactive ebooks for tablets.
The new Library of Congress Student Discovery Sets bring together historical artifacts and one-of-a-kind documents on a wide range of topics, from history to science to literature. Interactive tools let students zoom in for close examination, draw to highlight interesting details and make notes about what they discover.
The first six Student Discovery Sets are available now for the iPad, and can be downloaded for free on iBooks. These sets cover the U.S. Constitution, Symbols of the United States, Immigration, the Dust Bowl, the Harlem Renaissance, and Understanding the Cosmos.
With a swipe of a finger, learners can peer into the workshop where the Statue of Liberty was built, scrutinize George Washingtons notes on the Constitution, and zoom in on the faces of new arrivals at Ellis Island. Using the portability that tablets bring, students can hand their work to a classmate to collaborate.
The objects in the Student Discovery Sets are primary sourcesitems created by eyewitnesses to history. From Galileos drawings of the moon to Zora Neale Hurstons plays to Thomas Edisons films, these maps, songs, posters, sheet music and iconic images immerse students in history, culture and science and give them the power to explore.
Primary sources have unique instructional power, says the Librarys director of Educational Outreach, Lee Ann Potter. "By analyzing primary sources, students can engage with complex content, build their critical thinking skills and create new knowledge. The Librarys new Student Discovery Sets provide rich tools for launching that process of analysis and discovery."
The sets are designed for students, providing easy access to open-ended exploration. A Teachers Guide for each set, with background information, teaching ideas` and additional resources, is one click away on the Librarys website for teachers, www.loc.gov/teachers/.