January 19, 2023

Selecting Primary Sources: Learning Activity Criteria

Last Updated on April 15, 2020

The Teaching with the Library of Congress blog gives some great tips on selecting the most effective primary sources to use with your students.

The TPS-Barat program offers some more tips, suggesting teachers ask themselves the following questions when choosing primary sources for use in the classroom.

  • Goal – What is the overall activity or project goal? What questions are we trying to answer? What problem are we trying to solve? What product are we trying to create?
  • Activity Types – How will the sources be used (as the basis for class discussion, written reports, in-class presentations, role playing, etc.)?
  • Source Analysis – In addition to the application of the sources to the task, what information should students recognize about the sources?
  • Classroom Management – Are the sources best used in individual, small group, or whole class activities?
  • Time – How much time must I allocate for this activity or project?
  • Assessment – What output(s) will this activity or project generate? Will this activity or project be assessed quantitatively, qualitatively, or both?

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