How to Find Amazing Primary Sources Online with Nonfiction Author Carla Killough McClafferty

by  Authors on Call, iNK Think Tank

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Working with primary sources is a great way to sharpen critical thinking skills. Chances are no matter what topic you are researching, the Library of Congress (LOC) has a primary source that will enhance the experience. In this session, we will discuss how to search the LOC collections to find a wide variety of items available online including photographs, sheet music, baseball cards, letters, historic documents and more. We will select a few primary sources documents to use as examples. During this interactive session, together we will consider and discuss the documents which will demonstrate to students how they can master the skill of analyzing primary source documents—and enjoy the process.

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About This Program


By Request: $300.00
By Request Premium: $270.00

The price is per site. iNK Think Tank will invoice and collect the fee.


1 hour for grades 4 through 12 preferred, but will fit it to your schedule if necessary

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Adult LearnersPublic Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:

no minumum

Maximum participants:

No maximum. However, smaller groups will allow the participants to receive more interaction with the author.

Primary Disciplines

Literacy, Problem Solving, Reading, Social Studies/History, Technology/Information Science, Writing

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

We make every effort to rebook. However, a last minute cancellation, with less than a two day notice will incur a $100.00 kill fee.

About This Provider

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Authors on Call, iNK Think Tank

White Plains, NY
United States

The Common Core State Standards have focused attention on process and using nonfiction in the classroom. Our Authors on Call from iNK Think Tank embody the CCSS. This team uses their extraordinary breadth of knowledge to transform today's classrooms into vital centers of learning. These authors are experts in processing enormous amounts of information, sifting through it and synthesizing it into works with added value. So why not talk to these masters of 21st century skillsand let them unpack their process for your students? They are eager to share their knowledge with you and to help you inspire your students with books kids love to read about subjects you're required to teach. So far our authors include Jan Adkins, Vicki Cobb,  Roxie Munro, Dorothy Hinshaw Patent,Carla Killough McClafferty, Kerrie Hollihan, Aline Alexander Newman, David M. Schwartz, Alexandra Siy,  Peggy Thomas, Marissa Moss, Jan Adkins, and Andrea Warren. Keep coming back as we add more authors and new programs.

Vicki Cobb

Program Details


1. We will begin with a discussion about primary sources. What they are, what they are not, why they are important to researchers.
2. We will discuss how a researcher judges the quality of the material. For example, using facts from the NASA web site rather than a blog written by a hobbyist with a telescope.
3. We will discuss the role of the Library of Congress and consider the wide variety of material available on their web site.
4. We will choose a variety of documents to study such as a map, a photograph, a letter, and a document. Using the skills of critical thinking and observation, we will analyze the primary source.
5. Considering our analysis of these documents, we will discuss what the next steps in research should be. We will find out what we learned and what more we need to learn. We will brainstorm about ways to use our results in a research project.


1. The participant will gain knowledge about the role of the Library of Congress, and how to find primary sources in its vast collections.
2. The participant will learn how to analyze primary source documents in a way that is super simple.
3. The participant will learn critical thinking skills that will allow them to become better researchers.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

Technology Productivity Tools , Technology Communications Tools , Technology Research Tools , Technology Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Tools

State Standards

The author will adjust each program to fit the needs of each state’s standards.