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Using Primary Sources

Using primary sources in the classroom is an excellent way to incorporate disciplinary literacy in all five strands of social studies.  Teaching students how to analyze primary sources is key.

Finding primary sources on BadgerLink. has a lot of resources on using primary sources in the classroom.  One idea is "Four Reads", a look at how to teach students how to read and analyze the way a historian would (Read for origins and context, read for meaning, read for argument, read like a historian).  

Primary Source Analysis Rubrics from the National Archives -- these are a really amazing set of sheets that walk students through how to analyze different primary sources such as written documents, posters, cartoons, sound recordings, etc. 

Awesome Stories, a website devoted to primary sources - purposely designed to help educators find primary sources they need from a variety of sources such as the Library of Congress, national archives,
museums and libraries from across the country.  

The Library of Congress Archives put together sets of primary sources in themes that can be used together.  Take a look!

Thinking Like a Historian from the Wisconsin Historical Society

Stanford History Education Group "Reading Like a Historian"

Primary Source Analysis ideas from Read Like A Historian

The College Board also has a number of ideas regarding the analysis of primary sources.  You could use the APPARTS analysis, or the G-SPRITE analysis tools. 

Ideas for the classroom:

Website suggestions from classroom educators for primary source use in the classroom: