May 28, 2017

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Newspapers

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...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Video Recordings

Video is used to tell stories and provide information. Because we live in a world increasingly dominated by video, it is critical that we teach students how to analyze this powerful primary source that combines moving images with sound and, sometimes, text. In addition to dramatic or documentary films, primary source video recordings include news reports, interviews, press conferences, testimonies, advertisements, entertainment broadcasts, and more. The analysis of video recordings, like primary … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Audio Recordings

Written texts can be very powerful, but add sound and those words gain an extra dimension; just think of the difference between reading a speech and hearing one, particularly one delivered by a talented orator. In addition to speeches, primary source audio recordings include interviews, press conferences, testimonies, advertisements, entertainment broadcasts, and more. The analysis of audio recordings, like primary source images, Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS), including … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Music

Music can trigger powerful emotions and brain research has shown the strong link between emotion and memory. Songs and sheet music, also referred to as musical scores, are great primary sources to use with students to enable them tap into the feelings and emotions surrounding historical events and figures. Analyzing recorded songs and sheet music, which often include evocative cover illustrations, can help students better understand the historical context of these people and events and more … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Political Cartoons

Political cartoons, many of which contain both an image and text, are great primary sources to use with students to help them recognize and understand symbolism, perspective, and bias as well as put people, events, issues, and ideas into historical context. The analysis of political cartoons, like other primary source images, Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS). They are also particularly helpful in meeting grade 6-12 Literacy in History/Social Studies Reading Standards 1, 2, 4, … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Texts

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] Through the analysis of … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Maps

Oh, the wonderful worlds we discover when we look at maps! The original infographics, maps help us visualize places, features, activities, distributions, routes, and more. The Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS) consider maps a type of informational text for grades K-5 and the analysis of primary source maps is particularly emphasized in CCSS Reading Anchor Standard 7—Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Images

They say pictures are worth a thousand words. Primary source images, whether they are photographs or prints, provide windows into unique perspectives of people, places, and events. The analysis of primary source images helps scaffold and differentiate learning and aligns closely to the Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS). The Library of Congress is a treasure trove of primary source images, the bulk of which you will find in the American Memory collections and the Prints & … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Learning from Oral Histories

History textbooks give overviews of people and events of the past. Primary sources provide varied perspectives, adding details, nuance and, often, a sense of immediacy that make history come alive. Oral histories and personal narratives allow us to step into someone else's shoes for a moment and make personal connections to history. Students who completed the TPS-Barat Digital Stories of Our Heroes project, described the difference between learning from a textbook and learning from an oral … [Read more...]