As a social studies teacher, it’s often difficult to instill an appreciation for historical events in young students.

While most people over 25 can remember what happened on Sep 11, 2001, current elementary students were not even born yet. That was less than a generation ago, and just one of many important events that have shaped American culture.

To bring history to life for your students, go to the source — the primary source.

Studies Weekly's primary source media

The Importance of Primary Source Media

Teachers use primary sources to educate students about events that occurred before and during their lifetime. With visual aids like photos and newspaper clips, students as young as four years old can learn concepts and glean meaning from events that would otherwise be out of sight and therefore out of mind. Examples of primary sources for elementary students include, but are not limited to:

    • Personal correspondence and diaries
    • Works of art and literature
    • Speeches and oral histories
    • Audio and video recordings
    • Photographs and posters

One major advantage when using Studies Weekly is that we provide all of these different types of primary source media in print and through Studies Weekly Online, our digital learning platform.

Teaching with Primary Sources

Studies Weekly Online has thousands of primary source images — from diary pages and letters to artwork and literature. You’ll also love our audio and video recordings. Our video team, led by an award-winning director, has created videos on almost every imaginable topic. Never been to Europe? Take a virtual field trip through Amsterdam, Germany, or Paris. Wonder what it was like to be on the field of battle in WWII? Watch exclusive interviews of notable figures who have personally witnessed and impacted some of the biggest moments in history.

Perhaps the best part about our primary source tools is that they are already included in your print subscription. Simply register for your online teacher account at

Are you new to Studies Weekly? Start your free trial today!

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