Tips for Working With Primary Sources

Rewordify--Rewordify.com helps students read more, understand difficult English faster, and learn words in new ways. Teachers use it to save time and increase learning from any English text. Just paste in a difficult English sentence, paragraph, or more (or enter a web page URL) and click the button. You'll instantly see an easier version, for fast understanding now. No dictionary needed! Plus, the easier version is specially highlighted to help build vocabulary. Great for struggling readers and ELL students.

Analyzing Primary Source Worksheet Collection--Stolen, er, "borrowed" from the social studies guru Glenn Wiebe's website "History Tech." These teacher guides, primary source analysis handouts, and other resources are a necessity for teachers like myself who love to work with primary sources.

P.E.R.S.I.A.--Stands for Political, Economic, Religious, Social, Intellectual, and Artistic aspects of a historical topic. This worksheet can be adjusted to include analysis of primary sources.

Making Sense of Evidence--Run by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University's website "History Matters," this page contains many guides for interpreting primary sources. Included are guides to analyze: oral history, films, artifacts, political cartoons, maps, music, numbers, photographs, letters, diaries, advertisements, speeches, novels, newspapers etc. A really great resource for giving students practice with various mediums.

Document Analysis Worksheets--The following document analysis worksheets were designed and developed by the Education Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration. You may find these worksheets useful as you introduce students to various documents. This site also includes ways to analyze: documents, photos, cartoons, posters, maps, artifacts, movies, and sound recordings. 

Stanford History Education Group Intro Materials--Perhaps the best resource for teachers who love to use primary sources. These lessons will not only help students source primary documents but will help them contextualize multiple mediums while concomitantly giving them the ability to look at history objectively. 


Truman Library Primary Source Worksheets--Collection of worksheets to help students analyze primary sources.


A.P.P.A.R.T.S. Strategy--Stands for Author, Place and Time, Prior Knowledge, Audience, Reason, The Main Idea, and Significance. This strategy will really help students to become experts at analyzing primary sources. 

EDSITEment Tools for Analyzing Primary Sources and  Close Readings--collection of various graphic organizers and worksheets to help students organize and analyze primary sources.

Learn NC Primary Source Strategies--This collection of resources includes best practice articles, primary source process guides, lesson plans that model historical inquiry, and book-length materials that incorporate primary sources.

Flow of History: A modeling of various primary source analysis activities.

World History Sources Model Questions: Sample questions to use with each type of primary source.

Facing History and Ourselves: Primary source analysis strategies and activities. 



Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Collection--Helpful tutorials of how to navigate the Library of Congress site as well as compilation lists of primary sources by historical topic.

SOAPSTONE Strategy: Stands for Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject and Tone. Helps students chunk primary sources in a more manageable way. 




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