Have you ever struggled with finding good primary source material for students? As an English teacher, I teach a lot of literature. I have always taught a good bit of non-fiction as well, but the reality is, there are times I wish I could teach more of it.
With the advent of Common Core, or College Career Readiness Standards, or whatever catchy name your state has given them, non-fiction text has probably become a much larger part of the expectations. History teachers are expected to pick up a significant share of that load, through the reading of primary source materials.
One of the major complaints social studies/history teachers often express is the availability of these materials. Many of them simply read whatever is in the textbook, and keep on rolling, never really delving into other areas or documents, often due to the difficulty of getting to them.
Enter the Google Newspaper Archive. You can find the archive HERE. This is a treasure trove of newspapers, spanning the globe, and time. You can find primary source material, and best of all, it is FREE.
Of course, being Google, it is easily searchable. You will find a box at the top of the page where you can search the archive. It’s hard to get much easier than that.
Now, for all of you teachers of other subjects out there, this resource is not just for social studies teachers. As an English teacher, I an easily pull supplemental material to go along with the literature I am reading. Science teachers will find a plethora of real world articles that relate to topics they teach. While some of the articles can be difficult to read, many are very usable. See the image below for an example. This article was founding by searching for “Plague”.
This archive is a great resource, that is likely very under-utilized. So, when making those lesson plans, be sure to take a look at the archive, and see just how much of this resource you can use.
Also, Google Classroom users, simply send out the article as a link in your Classroom feed, then your students can go straight to it. Life just got even better!