Also available as part of Duffy's Black Death Package:
Although this is the introductory task I use for the beginning of a history unit on the Black Death, it works as a short introduction to evaluating web sources. It’s always best practice to introduce historical skills (such as evaluating sources) in context, so I like to work them into the content where possible.
It starts by examining the earliest written form of the nursery rhyme Ring a Ring a Roses, and explores popular interpretations (in particular the assertion that it is about the Black Death). Students then discuss how credible these interpretations are and then evaluate the reliability of two websites.
While I generally deliver this as a whole class discussion, the PowerPoint and accompanying worksheet are designed for independent learning.
The PowerPoint and Worksheet (PDF & DOCX) cover:
* Activities around Ring-a-Ring-Roses (Greenway 1881)
* Ring-a-Ring-Roses (supposed) connection to the Black Death
* Other variants of the nursery rhyme
* Evaluation of websites activity (Nursery Rhymes.org.uk vs. Snopes.com)
* Extension tasks and webquest links.
I am working on upgrading the rest of my Black Death unit to upload to TPT: keep an eye out!
While you’re here, have a look at some of my other Middle Ages resources:
Australian Curriculum connection:
Year 8 History:
• Identify and locate relevant sources, using ICT and other methods (ACHHS151)
• Draw conclusions about the usefulness of sources (ACHHS154)
Historical Knowledge and Understanding
• Depth Study 3 Expanding Contacts: The Black Death in Asia, Europe and Africa (14th century plague)
• They describe different interpretations of the past.
• They analyse, select and organise information from primary and secondary sources.
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