Why teach with primary sources?
How to Select a primary source
Choose primary sources to teach with based upon the following criteria:
Interest – What kinds of sources would be most interesting to your students?
Reading Level – Choose a primary source that will coordinate with the reading abilities of your students and provide them with the necessary materials (such as a dictionary or glossary) to understand the document.
Length – The source you choose may be lengthy. It may be appropriate to select an excerpt of the source for your students based upon their abilities or the time available.
Points of View – Choose sources that fairly represent various points of view on a topic, event, or issue. Try to present a balance of different view points.
Variety of Sources – Try to include a number of different types of sources: published, unpublished, visual, text, artifacts, etc.
Location – Are the sources readily available to you or your students through the school or public library, local historical society, or on the internet?
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