American Writers Museum to Enhance Youth Education Programs with Teaching Resources from the Library of Congress

American Writers Museum to Enhance Youth Education Program with Teaching Resources from the Library of Congress

The American Writers Museum (AWM) today announced it is a grant recipient of the Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS), a Library of Congress program. The AWM will use the $47,811 in funding toward its Exploring the Writing Process with Primary Source Materials project, which will combine the museum’s existing student education offerings with the Library’s digitized resources to create lessons in two forms – live synchronous interactions with classrooms and an asynchronous online portal for teachers to use in class – that will help to inspire and motivate students, and show them that writing is a process and a craft, and something they can and should do. The online materials and specially-designed curricula for middle and high school students will be free and available to teachers nationwide to complement their classroom writing instruction.

Exploring the Writing Process with Primary Source Materials will allow students to explore drafts of poems, prose, letters, and journals of some of America’s notable writers, such as Langston Hughes, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Frederick Douglass, and Abraham Lincoln. Through these types of selected primary source materials and accompanying activities, students will analyze authors’ word choices, deletions, handwritten additions, and notes on drafts, and analysis of the editing process, to better understand the writing process and the “behind the scenes” work of great writers.

Allison Sansone, AWM Director of Programs and Education, said “These resources will help illustrate for students the process of writing, including elements such as journaling, drafting, editing, revision, collaboration and publishing. By showing students primary source examples of draft manuscripts from well-known writers, we can show how final written works might compare to works in progress, or how more casual writings might compare to honed and polished works.”

The new educational offering will launch in February 2022 and will accompany and share some themes and content with the AWM’s new exhibit on racial justice writing, with the inclusion of manuscript drafts from writers of color. Dark Testament: A Century of Black Writers on Justice will cover a century of African American writers, musicians, and activists from the Civil War in the 1860s through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

The AWM and the other 84 grantees join the Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium, a group of more than 200 member organizations, all dedicated to sharing expertise, networks and products centered on teaching with primary sources from the Library.

“We’re delighted with the diversity of these grantees, the content they’ll cover, and the learners they’ll reach,” said Vivian Awumey, program manager for the Library’s Teaching with Primary Sources.

About American Writers Museum

The American Writers Museum is the first museum of its kind in the United States. The mission of the American Writers Museum is to engage the public in celebrating American writers and exploring their influence on our history, our identity, and our daily lives. The museum is located at 180 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60601, and offers something for every age group including permanent exhibits and special galleries highlighting America’s favorite works and the authors behind them. Tickets to the museum are $14 for adults, $9 for seniors, students, and teachers. Free for members and children ages 12 and under. To inquire about discounted rates for groups of 10 or more, including adults, student travel groups, and University students, visit or call 312-374-8770. Museum hours are Thursday – Monday 10 AM – 5 PM. For more information visit or call 312-374-8790.

Contact: Karie McGahan, Director of Marketing

About the Teaching with Primary Sources Partner Program

Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Consortium Member

Since 2006, the Library has awarded Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) grants to build a nationwide network of organizations that deliver educational programming, and create teaching materials and tools based on the Library’s digitized primary sources and other online resources. Each year members of this network, called the TPS Consortium, support tens of thousands of learners to build knowledge, engagement and critical thinking skills with items from the Library’s collections.

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