June 25, 2017

Analyzing Primary Sources: Identifying Bias in Presidential Election Newspaper Coverage

In a past Teaching with the Library of Congress blog post, Deborah Thomas, program manager for the National Digital Newspaper Program at the Library of Congress, discusses how to help students identify bias and attitude in newspaper articles related to the 1912 presidential election. National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) members can access Thomas's original article, which identifies four newspaper items she selected, from the November/December, 2015 issue of Social Education, the journal of … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Elementary Image & Text Analysis Sheets

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...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Using Question Cubes

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

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

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: Sensory Exploration

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 words 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...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Frozen Living Pictures

We know that primary sources engage students, helping them to personally relate to persons and events of the past and develop a deeper understanding of history as a series of human events. One way to enhance the connection and empathy is to have students analyze a primary source image, then create a tableau or frozen living picture. The goal is to collaborate with a group to recreate the event or scene that the photographer captured. This activity really helps students get into the hearts and … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Reading Cartoons

We often think of cartoons as funny but, in addition to entertaining and amusing us, they can also enlighten, provoke or persuade us. Political or editorial cartoons, in particular, provide subjective viewpoints about current issues and events and the people involved in them. Cartoonists use a variety of techniques—symbolism, exaggeration, irony, analogy and labeling to name a few—to convey their story or perspective through images. Learn more about these techniques by completing the online … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources in the New SATs

The Common Core State Standards emphasize primary source analysis (specifically, RH.9-10/11-12.1, RH.9-10/11-12.2, RH.9-10/11-12.9, RI.9-10/11-12.9). Now the retooled SAT will too according to Todd Balf's article, "The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul", published March 6, 2014 in the New York Times Magazine. Below is an excerpt. Click the previous link to read the full article. Starting in spring 2016, students will take a new SAT — a three-hour exam scored on the old 1,600-point system, with an … [Read more...]

Analyzing Primary Sources: Journalistic Analysis

Your assignment is to prepare to write an article to accompany the image you were given. Take time to carefully study the image details. Then brainstorm a list of questions you would need answered in order to write the article about this image. Be deliberate and creative about the point of view from which you would choose to write the article. Journalistic Analysis printout (.pdf) CCSS writing standards 8, 9, 10 … [Read more...]