January 25, 2015

Analyzing Primary Sources: Shake & Source Newspaper Game

Shake & Source Newspaper Game Sheet

This is a guest post by Ruth Ferris, an elementary school librarian from Billings, Montana, and a grantee in the TPS Regional Grant Program. Ruth is sharing the Shake and Source Newspaper Game procedure, instructions, and materials under a Creative Commons CC BY-NC 4.0 license. I developed the Shake and Source  when I created the lesson “Montana’s State Flower:  A Lesson in Civic Engagement” as an Educator Resource for the Montana Historical Society and recently adapted the game for more … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Newspapers

Analyzing Newspaper Articles

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) strike a balance between the reading of literature and informational texts and promote the use of a wide range of text types: “Through reading a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informational texts in a range of subjects, students are expected to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective.” [English Language Arts Standards: Key Design Considerations] Some items in … [Read more...]

Selecting Primary Sources for Research Projects

Selecting Primary Sources for Research Projects

When completing a research project you will want to include primary sources. Using primary sources is particularly important when creating a history project and required for National History Day (NHD) projects. To get a better understanding of different types of sources, review the post Selecting Primary Sources: Primary, Secondary, Tertiary? Think of primary sources as raw, unfiltered material that you will analyze and use as evidence to support your claims. Primary sources are original … [Read more...]

Selecting Primary Sources: Tertiary, Secondary, Primary

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When conducting research, you will likely use three types of sources: primary, secondary, and tertiary. While exact definitions may vary by discipline or institution, we hope this post will help you sort out the main distinctions between these types of sources and when to use each in the research process for National History Day (NHD) and other research projects. When creating NHD or other research projects, you will use secondary and primary sources and, possibly, tertiary sources but your … [Read more...]

NHD 2015: Selecting a Topic for a History Project

selecting a NHD topic

The graphic above from the Chicago Metro History Education Center (CMHEC) is a great encapsulation of how to choose a topic for a history fair project. In addition, ask yourself the questions listed below. Does the topic relate to this year's National History Day (NHD) theme: Leadership & Legacy in History? (Remember, you need to address both leadership and legacy.) For Illinois students, does the topic relate to local or Illinois state history? Does the topic really interest … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Determining the Main Idea of a Text

Aerial view of U.S. Capitol and crowd on the grounds of the east front of the U.S. Capitol, during the inauguration of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, March 4, 1933

This is a guest post from Glenn Jensen, a national board certified U.S. and world history teacher at Kennedy High School in Chicago, Illinois. Glenn has developed an exercise that is a great way to begin analyzing primary source texts because it has students focus on what they know, what they can extrapolate from that knowledge, and how they can apply that knowledge to their own lives. Below he describes how he recently implemented the text analysis with his students; the activity, which meets … [Read more...]

Literature Links: My Daniel – Hunting dinosaurs in Nebraska

Building a Sod House in Western Nebraska

Below you will find numerous primary source activity ideas to use in conjunction with the novel My Daniel by Pam Conrad. Let us know which ones work for you. Publisher overview "All I want to find is one dinosaur," Daniel was saying. "And I'll find it right here. Like I do all my fossils." Wandering through the Natural History Museum with her grandchildren, Julia Creath feels the presence of her dead brother, Daniel, she remembers a time when fossil fever hit everyone, old and young -- a … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Sensory Exploration

Society Circus

The sensory exploration graphic organizer is a great way to introduce students, especially younger ones, to primary source analysis. It also helps with vocabulary development. Encourage students to write to fill in each column for each sense. After, you may have students create a poem of their choice using the words they brainstormed; they may choose to write the poem from the point of view of someone outside the image or from a person, animal, or thing inside the image. If students drew images, … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Immigration

Emigrants coming to the "Land of Promise"

Primary source sets Immigration Challenges for New Americans includes teacher's guide Mexican American Migrations and Communities includes teacher's guide Primary Source Learning: Immigration Primary Source Set telling the story of immigration to the United States with primary sources Primary source lesson plans The American West: Images of Its People Creating a Primary Source Archive: All History Is Local The Immigrant Experience: Down the Rabbit Hole Immigration History … [Read more...]

Literature Links: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street

Mulberry Street, New York City

Theodor Geisel—a.k.a. Dr. Seuss—was born in 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was the first of many children's books that he wrote and illustrated. Geisel supposedly received 27 rejections before the book was published by Vanguard Press in 1937 thanks, as the story goes, to a chance run-in with and old friend from Darthmouth College. After reading the book, engage your students with some of the following primary source activities. Have your … [Read more...]