May 22, 2015

Analyzing Primary Sources: Elementary Image & Text Analysis Sheets

Image Analysis KWL Chart

Primary sources engage all students—elementary, middle and high school. Below are some worksheets to help elementary students, in particular, to analyze primary source images and texts. These worksheets were created by TPS-Barat and master teacher Kimberly Heckart, who teaches third grade at Prairie Ridge Elementary in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Elementary Social Studies Methods at the University of Iowa. Kim whose accolades include Elementary Social Studies Teacher of the Year for both the Iowa and … [Read more...]

Teaching Now: Analyzing Primary Sources for Scientific Thinking & Organization

Scientific notebooking

This is a guest post from Tom Bober (a.k.a. @CaptainLibrary), an elementary librarian at RM Captain Elementary in Clayton, Missouri and frequent contributor to the TPS Teachers Network. Earlier this school year I wrote about an activity in which third grade students analyzed primary sources from the Library of Congress, specifically the notes, diagrams, and writings of scientists to explore how scientists organize information. The hope was that students would connect these organizational … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: The Negro Speaks of Rivers

The Negro Speaks of Rivers

Lesson overview Writer and poet Langston Hughes was a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance movement, famous for his illuminating and moving depictions of African American life. "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" was Hughes's first published poem, appearing in the June 1921 issue of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) magazine The Crisis. Since that time, the poem has been set to music repeatedly, as shown by the sheet music illustrating this post. Lesson … [Read more...]

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...]