Local teacher headed to Library of Congress

Staff Writer

Brian Pletsch, a United States history teacher at the University of Chicago Charter School’s Carter G. Woodson Middle School Campus, has been selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants to participate in the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Summer Teacher Institute.

Pletsch, who teaches 7th and 8th grade at Woodson, 4444 S. Evans Ave., was selected to visit Washington, D.C., from June 10 to June 14 and will be given access and gather resources from the Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave. SE, Washington, D.C.

Each year, the Library of Congress provides a selected group of educators with the opportunity to attend one of its five teacher institutes in Washington, D.C. During the five-day program, participants work with library education specialists and subjectmatter experts to learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom, while exploring some of the millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents available on the library’s website.

Teaching from original sources is different from doing so with secondary sources, accounts or interpretations of events created by someone without firsthand experience, according to the Library of Congress. Students working with primary sources become engaged learners while building critical-thinking skills and constructing new knowledge.

Teachers working in the library’s collections will explore the largest online collection of historical artifacts with access to millions of unique primary sources for use in instruction. They will have access to original documents and objects that were created during the time period their class is studying.