Today we start our HISTORICAL SCENE INVESTIGATION to evaluate historical sources throughout history. Items will be placed at 7 stations. Students worked in teams to examine and analyze each source using their PRIMARY AND SECONDARY SOURCES cheat sheet (refer to WHY HISTORY MATTERS slideshow). We also conducted an in class partner activity to relate Primary and Secondary Sources to our own lives  (refer to the WHY HISTORY MATTERS slideshow).

A primary source is an original source from a specific period in time. Examples include artifacts like clothing, art, pottery, furniture, etc., documentaries, letters, diary entries, newspapers, speeches, poetry, music lyrics, etc.

A secondary source is at least 1 step removed from a primary source. Secondary sources analyze and interpret primary sources. Examples include biographies, history textbooks, movies based on historical events, etc.

View the video below to review primary and secondary sources and how they are used in research.

5 Key Questions:
What: What is the source? Is it a photo? Is it a letter? Is it a textbook? Is it a painting?
Who: Who wrote the letter, took the photo or painted the painting?
When:When was the source created?
Where:Can you tell where the source was created?
Why:Why was the source created? Does it tell a story? Does it interpret other sources? Is it an order from an officer to a soldier? Is it a picture of the Rocky Mountains?

Want to earn extra credit? PROVIDE examples of real sources and explain why it is a Primary or Secondary Sources.
For example, The Movie Super Size Me is a primary source because it is a documentary that follows a real person’s journey of weight gain caused by eating fast food.
The Quiz on Primary and Secondary Sources is Friday.

5 thoughts on “iT’S aLL PRiMaRY…oR SeCoNDaRY

  1. Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper is a story about how one native american child goes through life harshly. As he is traveling to send a message one day, an english settler shot him and he dies, but his spirit stays on earth and he watches the world change before his eyes. Then he watches his english friend grow older. Times were harsh back then especially if you were allies with the native americans. At the end of the book, it actually tells a timeline of how the native americans disappeared.

  2. Extra Credit – The Lincoln Memorial is a secondary source because it is art created after an event by a non-witness. But, all art is primary.

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