A small-group exercise analyzing and comparing multiple primary sources about one event.
Teachers will find and print out multiple primary sources on an event or topic. Primary sources should each be of differing types and from different perspectives. Primary sources can be text-based or visual, depending on the needs of the class.
Students will break into small groups; each group will choose (or be assigned, depending on students’ learning needs) one primary source to analyze.
Students will choose a recorder and a speaker, then discuss the primary source in their small groups, noting their reactions and feelings about the source; recorder will write down the group’s answers to the worksheet questions.
The class will come back together and each group’s speaker will read the answers about their group’s primary source.
The class, as a whole, will then compare the primary sources and their reactions, and discuss how these combine to give a clearer, fuller picture of the event or topic.
Tips for Success
Look for NC primary sources on US & global events
find North Carolinians' reactions to the world around them in:
local or college newspapers
Trouble finding primary sources from multiple points of view?
look for secondary sources from differing viewpoints
analyze using questions similar to those for primary sources
have students create "primary sources" from alternate perspectives
More Ideas for Using Primary Sources in the Classroom