April 18, 2015

Selecting, Excerpting & Modifying Primary Sources

Primary Source Documents

Have you ever wanted to use a primary source document with students but hesitated because you felt the struggle to comprehend the text would be the focus of the task rather than text analysis? In a TweetChat about teaching with primary sources, middle school social studies teacher Chris Heffernan (@cheffernan75) articulated the dilemma, "This has been a challenge in my building. Some say adapt & keep meaning. Others want them to experience original text. I'm torn." While some may say that … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: Great Depression

Sculpture depicting a Great Depression breadline at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Washington, D.C.

Primary source sets & activities Teaching Now: Determining the Main Idea of a Text Primary Source Learning: Great Depression & World War II Primary Source Set Dust Bowl Migration includes teacher's guide American Memory Timeline: Great Depression and World War II 1929-1945, background information with select primary sources & teaching activities American Memory Timeline: Photographing People of the Great Depression Lesson plans American Lives in Two Centuries: What … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Geographical conversation cards

Geographical conversation cards

Use these geographical conversation cards to learn about the geographical history of the United States as well as learn state facts. Lesson prep 1. Print out and cut up state cards and the Question and Answer cards. 2. Separate these into 5  groups of state cards and their accompanying Q&A cards. Because there are missing cards (AR, KY, NC, NJ, OH), some groups will be missing Q&A cards; be sure that each group has at least one state card with missing Q&A cards. 3. … [Read more...]

Selecting Primary Sources That Deal with Difficult Issues

lynchings

Primary sources bring history to life but life can be harsh. Teachers need to be prepared for primary sources that may include, as Library of Congress Educational Resource Specialist Danna Bell wrote in the Teaching with the Library of Congress blog, "material that would shock, anger, disgust, stun, frustrate or annoy". But they also provide incredible learning opportunities as primary source expert and TPS Teachers Network Coordinator Mary Johnson noted in a comment to Ms. Bell's blog post, "I … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources Using Question Cubes

Question Cubes 1

If your students need help with asking questions when analyzing primary sources, bring out the question cubes. You can make them from paper or cleaned-out school milk cartons. Each student or student group should get two cubes (see image directly above and below) and roll both to help get those questions flowing. You can also create your own cubes with various phrases or sentence stems. Download the question cube templates and let us know what works for you and your … [Read more...]

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...]