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?