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Using Primary Sources in K-6 Social Studies
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Using Primary Sources in K-6 Social Studies

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Presented to the EDEL 157 course at the University of Vermont in a three-hour library instruction session co-taught with Special Collections.

Presented to the EDEL 157 course at the University of Vermont in a three-hour library instruction session co-taught with Special Collections.

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  • 1. USING PRIMARY SOURCES In K-6 Social Studies EDEL 157 3 February 2010 Robin M. Katz
  • 2. http://researchguides.uvm.edu/ edel157spring2011 Check Out Your Class Research Guide Online!
  • 3. PRIMARY vs. SECONDARY SOURCESEye-Witness Second-Hand AccountTestimonial “Pieced together later”Contemporary Uses Primary SourcesOriginal Interprets creative workEarlier drafts Analyzes ResearchRaw data
  • 4. EXAMPLES: PRIMARY SOURCESDiaries Creative worksLetters MapsPhotos PostcardsContemporary Receipts Newspapers Oral histories,Business Reports interviewsVital Records (birth, Speeches death, marriage) TV news footage
  • 5. EXAMPLES: SECONDARY SOURCESBooks Art/literary criticismJournal Articles Analyses of scientificTextbooks studiesBiographiesLater or interpretive newspaper articlesDocumentary Films
  • 6. BENEFITS• Fun!• Real perspectives, “history comes alive”• New information• New views on old information• Truth?• How “history” is made
  • 7. CHALLENGES• Difficult Handwriting• Old Language (spelling, words)• Brittle paper, faded ink, holes in text• Authenticity: Is this real? Trust-worthy?• Not enough information or context: who? where?
  • 8. ANALYZING PRIMARY SOURCES YOU HAVE TO SUPPLY THE CONTEXTWhat is it?Who created it? What do we know about them? Their perspective/bias?When is it from? What do we know about the time period?Where is it from?What facts are included? Are they accurate?What opinions are included?What is implied, conveyed unintentionally, or left out?What is interesting? Surprising?What do I not understand?Adapted from http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/nchist-eg/745
  • 10. USING PRIMARY SOURCES Source Topic*Teachers are more likely to do this
  • 11. WHY TEACH with PRIMARY SOURCES? Class divides in half: Pros and Cons Discussion, Report Back
  • 12. HOW TO TEACH with PRIMARY SOURCES?• Teacher support programs (Teaching American History grants, Library of Congress TPS program)• Teacher kits / guides (American Diary series)• Best practices, colleagues• Apply other teaching methods• Librarians/archivist s may or may not help with this!
  • 13. WHERE TO FIND?• Cultural Repositories – Libraries (public, university, private) – Archives (government, organizational, corporate) – Museums, Historical Societies (educators, kits)• Online – Subscription databases (through your library) – Free Sites!• Private Hands / Collectors – Students, Families
  • 14. PHYSICAL (ANALOG) vs. DIGITAL• Pros and Cons? – Ease of access? – Missing information? – Fun factor?
  • 15. USING DIGITIZED MATERIALS• Read about Primary Sources – Scout Report: http://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/Current/• Search for Primary Sources – Google – Library Catalog• Go directly to an online repository to BROWSE