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Analyzing Primary Sources

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Common Core Standards
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154 KB|2 pages
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In this document, I have included materials for a social studies lesson working with primary sources. I took out the specific time period/region we were studying so that this could be used with primary sources from wherever you are studying (sources then are not included).

This includes a chart for recording the advantages and disadvantages of primary sources, to acknowledge that these sources are interesting and informative, but have their limitations.
This also includes a chart to record observations during a station rotation (or as a whole class). I set up six different kinds of sources around the room, and students spent time determining if they were primary or secondary, what they see, and what they can learn about the time period in question. (For those that finished early, I challenged them to think of ways that the primary sources could become secondary, and vice versa).

This also includes a written response in which students choose one of the primary sources (proving they know the difference), and write in detail what they can learn about the time period from it. We also took time at the end of the lesson to do a think-pair-share about the questions students still have, after looking at the sources. This was used to show that while primary sources are important, they don't give us the whole picture. To show their understanding of that, the last piece of this document is a statement that students must fill in, acknowledging the limitations but highlighting the importance of primary sources.

*Note: We did a short lesson a few days before where we defined and came up with examples of primary/secondary sources, so students had that background before we did this.
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