K-12 Educators Newsletter: Explore History and Diversity

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Hennepin County Library K12 Educators newsletter

November 2018

Explore history and diversity

Are your students working on History Day projects? Are you looking for resources to share with students during Native American Heritage Month (November) or Black History Month (February)? With print and online resources from the library, students can learn more about their own communities or discover the rich history and contributions of others. Friendly staff are ready to help at all of our libraries or via phone, email, text or live chat.

Online resources

You have free access to our online resources from school or home with your Hennepin County Library card, as well as at our library locations.

Primary sources

Many of our online resources provide access to primary sources, which were written or created at the time of an event or historical period. Primary sources can include newspaper articles, diary entries, and video or audio footage of speeches. To find online resources with primary sources, use the website search tab on hclib.org and enter "primary sources.

Featured resource: Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Opposing Viewpoints in Context database

Photos copyright Chelsea Purgahn/Tyler Morning Telegraph via AP (left) and AP Photo/John Basemore (right)

Middle through high school students can learn more about timely topics that are capturing the nation's attention, including voting laws and voter registration. Help your students gain a deeper understanding of important social issues with pro/con viewpoint essays, topic overviews, primary sources, biographies, court cases, articles, statistics, charts and graphs, images, and podcasts. Explore Opposing Viewpoints in Context

Digital collections

Photo of Henry W. Botts from John F. Glanton collection

From the John F. Glanton Collection, Hennepin County Library and the children of John Glanton.

These rich collections feature a variety of digitized materials related to the history of Minneapolis and Hennepin County, drawn from the Library’s Special Collections. The collections can be searched or browsed, and all of the content can be viewed online and downloaded for free for student or classroom use. These collections include a wide array of primary sources including photographs, posters, letters, programs and menus. 

Engaging resources for history projects

Collections of particular interest for History Day and Black History Month projects include: 

Finding great books

We have book lists for a variety of genres, interests, and reading abilities covering everything from historical fiction to poetry. All of our lists feature diverse characters, settings, and perspectives so youth can see themselves reflected in their reading and also see the world through others' eyes. Explore our book lists for teens and book lists for children.

Books about African American history and life

Black history book covers

February is Black History Month, so now is the perfect time to encourage your students to start reading fiction and nonfiction that will deepen their understanding of African American history and culture.  

Free library events

History Hullabaloo banner

History Day Hullabaloos

Get personalized help at these research open houses where librarians, Minnesota History Day staff and University of Minnesota mentors will help you make sense of and break down your project into workable phases. Mini-lessons on a range of topics and sample projects will be available too! 

Hullaballoos are at Minneapolis Central from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m

Homework help

We have resources available online and at all our libraries to help K-12 students with history, language arts, math, science and more. To discover all the different homework resources, visit our Homework help page.

Tutors online

Students in grades 3-12 can receive free one-to-one live online tutoring assistance every day of the week from 1-11p.m. (with their library card) in English or in Spanish. For details, see Tutors online

Tutors at the library

Girl doing homework

The K-12 Homework Help program is a free in-person tutoring program offered after school at 13 Hennepin County Library locations. Students can drop in during program hours to work with trained tutors on specific assignments or to build skills over time. For locations and times, see the Tutors at the library schedule.  

Getting a library card

Children with library cards

It’s free to get a Hennepin County Library card, and anyone who needs to replace a lost or stolen library card can now do so without paying a fee. Students can get a new or replacement card in-person at any library location or apply online and their card will be mailed to them. Apply online for a library card.

Chat live with library staff

Teen Girl at computer

You and your students can receive in-person help from library staff at any library location. You can also Ask Us your questions via phone, email, text, or live chat with staff. Chat is available: Monday-Thursday 9-9, Friday-Saturday 9-5, and Sunday 12-5. 

We can provide the best chat service and experience when online staff work with just a few different people at a time. If you are having your students use chat during class, please have them work together or have them stagger their logon times. To make the most of chat, students should prepare their questions in advance and allow enough time for back-and-forth conversation with staff. A typical chat session lasts about 15-20 minutes.

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