This album was created by a member of the TPS Teachers Network, a professional social media network for educators, funded by a grant from the Library of Congress. For more information, visit

Album of the Coronavirus Experience - Created by TPS Teachers Network Members

Album Description

Do you have a personal primary source unique to the current COVID-19 pandemic period? A journal entry about your current teaching situation (as if you have time to write)? A screen shot of students working with primary sources online? A sound recording of your own children or pets in your at-home work space? A photo of masked walkers in your neighborhood? Anything that describes the walls closing in on you or your ways of coping? A teaching anecdote in some shareable format?

Please upload these and similar primary sources created by YOU! Whether you are a classroom teacher, a librarian, a school administrator, a museum educator, a TPS Consortium member, or any other category of TPS Teachers Network member, help us build a collection of primary sources that reflect your own experiences as educators, parents, citizens, and survivors! 

As an added challenge, imagine how you might use your primary source in the future. Add any potential teaching ideas to the Teaching Notes.

Finally, let's keep this album about personal experiences, not about a crazy meme or news item you found on the Internet. Let's make it about our own "raw materials of history" created from firsthand experience! 

Open to everyone in the TPS Teachers Network! 

  Pre K - 2   3 - 5   6 - 8   9 - 12   13+   COVID-19   Firsthand Experiences 

Searching for Backgrounds for Zoom Meetings

Why did people want to change backgrounds when presenting TPS webinars or teaching online via Zoom? 

What other online tools did educators use for teaching? 

What was Zoombombing? 

What was Zoom anyway?



Reference note


Arvada, Colorado

We had scheduled a birthday party with family for my four-year-old son but had to cancel at the last minute as things were rapidly closing due to the pandemic. We made the best of it and scheduled a Zoom meeting with the family to sing happy birthday and blow out candles.  This has turned into a weekly check-in/happy hour on Zoom with family.

Trumps Guidelines.png

This was the first official communication I received from the US government (in the mail anyway) about the COVID-19 pandemic. Received 3-24-2020

Thoughts for the classroom:

  • Why is the date important?
  • What is happening in the US and other parts of the world?
  • Who is this from, and why is it important?
  • How does the information compare to information coming from the US Center for Disease Control at the time of publication? How about from the World Health Organization?
  • Do these recommendations change over time?
  • Why is it important where this information is coming from?
  • How does this compare to information published by governments in other pandemics?

Reference link:

Reference note


Received via USPS 3-24-2020

Arvada, Colorado

Colorado Statewide Stay at Home issued 3-26-2020

Why are stay at home orders needed during a pandemic?

Does the timing of stay at home orders help protect the population?

Reference note

Screenshot of emergency alert sent to moblie phone.

Captured 3-25-2020 8:22 pm MT

Screenshot of Waze Application 3-28-2020

How is technology used to spread information about a pandemic?

What are the risks of going out in public during a pandemic?

Reference note

Screenshot taken of popup notification when opening Waze navigation mobile phone application

Captured 3-28-2020

Arvada, Colorado

Learning from home 4-7-2020

Reference note

My daughter working on school from home 4-7-2020

She is in 4th Grade in Arvada, CO.

In-person school was canceled for all Denver area schools (including hers) on April 3, 2020. She has work assigned Tues. - Fri. each week and typically works from 9am - Noon to complete her work. Her school is fortunate as they all have Chomebooks and used Google Classroom prior to closure, so it was a fairly easy transition to online learning.

wash ur hands.jpg

Corona season after season

Emergency alert: Extreme - Extending the Colorado Statewide Stay at Home Order

Reference note

Screenshot captured on mobile phone 7-11-2020 of emergency alert in Colorado

I will always remember this alert as I was in the kitchen making breakfast when I heard the very distinctive emergency alert tone ( coming from my phone and then then reading the heading "Emergency alert: Extreme". It sent a chill down my spine.

The message of the alert was to extend the Colorado stay at home order out several weeks, but it was widely known that this was going to happen and will probably extend past 3-26-2020. This is being posted 4-17-2020, so what actually happens remains to be seen.

Waiting to get inside the grocery store

Email from Elementary Teacher Cousin

In 2020, even families with adult children had concerns about how to protect and house them.

How did a typical family provide for the needs of children, no matter what age?

If adult children returned home, what were the solutions they devised to keep everyone safe? How did college students get home? What happened if foreign students could not return home to their countries of origin? 

In the future, will students be able to find primary source evidence of how their ancestors experienced the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic? Where? In what forms? Will anyone save emails?

Reference note

My cousin has been scanning the many pages of a diary kept for fifty years by our great grandfather. She had asked me if I would be interested in transcribing it. I told her that "when things calm down" from all the work that the TPS Teachers Network is doing to support teachers, I would like to help out!

This email has been redacted (personal names blacked out) in case anyone wishes to share it outside the TPS Teachers Network. 

Proud Home

They look like yard campaign signs, but they are one way families are recognizing soon to graduate seniors who will go without the traditional ceremony in June. No senior awards ceremonies, proms, balls or end of high school year celebrations. These will be a primary source treasure as we remember all the changes brought on by the sequester.

6’ Hikes

Parks and Rec signs now include instructions on distance when walking or hiking (those trails that are still open). This primary source indicates how local governments inform people of required changes in social norms when out and about during a pandemic.  

'The Howl'

How do different communities pay tribute to Medical Personnel, first responders and other essential workers?  In times of chaos how do we show creativity and beauty?

  • In Montana we do "The Howl" at 8:00 pm
  • In Australia they do the "Howl" on Thursday nights.
  • NYC- people applaud from their windows.
  • Sound the horn to pay tribute to transit drivers.
  • At 6:00 pm Italians open their windows and sing the classic songs and dance.

"In just two weeks, this 18:00 tradition has become fundamental to our daily routine and spread across Italy, becoming the country’s new national pastime to spread hope and boost morale."  Erica Firpo

  Covid 19 Virus    Social Studies/History  

Reference note

'In Montana folks are doing the Howl at 8:00. It is to recognize the work being done by medical personnel, first responders and others on the front line during this Covid-19 pandemic. Our dogs joined in on the "Howl".

I know across the nation different communities are paying tribute in their own way.'

My husband Dan Ferris videotaped our dogs and I doing "The Howl"

Tank - Lab/Dane Cross

Diesel - Black Lab puppy

Buddy - Pound Hound Lab Cross

Ollie - Blackfeet Special (Rescue dog from Blackfeet Reservation) She belongs to a friend.

Window Teddy Bears Bring Cheer

After seeing a national news story about Teddy Bears displayed in windows to bring a bit of cheer and encourage neighborhood walking I set out to see what was close by.  This one was just two houses away.   I found several bears and hearts in my immediate neighborhood. It is such a fun and delightful idea.

Winona, Minnesota. March 2020.

Window Teddy Bears Bring Cheer

Disinfecting Fruit

When disinfecting groceries takes longer than buying them.