Teaching Primary and Secondary Sources

This Teaching Primary and Secondary Sources lesson plan also includes:

What makes a source primary or secondary? Middle schoolers read a definition of each term before exploring different examples and applying their knowledge to a research project.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas
  • Include in a social studies or language arts department meeting to discuss ideal research practices for students within the department
  • Have learners come up with modern examples of primary and secondary sources, including retweets and quoted captions
Classroom Considerations
  • Consider reformatting the exit tickets or projecting them onto the board to avoid printing with a lot of color
  • The scenarios are color-coded based on their primary or secondary status; print in black and white to obscure the answers and use the original copy as the answer key
Pros
  • Aligned to the TEKS standards for middle schoolers
  • Clearly delineates the difference between primary and secondary sources, which can be challenging for some learners
  • Versatile for multiple types of research projects
  • Includes graphic organizers and exit tickets
Cons
  • None