Teaching Materials
Ask a Master Teacher
Lesson Plan Gateway
Lesson Plan Reviews
State Standards
Teaching Guides
Digital Classroom
Ask a Digital Historian
Tech for Teachers
Beyond the Chalkboard
History Content
Ask a Historian
Beyond the Textbook
History Content Gateway
History in Multimedia
Museums and Historic Sites
National Resources
Quiz
Website Reviews
Issues and Research
Report on the State of History Education
Research Briefs
Roundtables
Best Practices
Examples of Historical Thinking
Teaching in Action
Teaching with Textbooks
Using Primary Sources
TAH Projects
Lessons Learned
Project Directors Conference
Project Spotlight
TAH Projects
About
Staff
Partners
Technical Working Group
Research Advisors
Teacher Representatives
Privacy
Quiz Rules
Blog
Outreach
Teaching History.org logo and contact info

Bringing Primary Sources into the Classroom

Feb 17 2010 H.S.I. case file drawer

It's one thing to introduce primary sources in the K-12 history classroom; sometimes it's quite another to engage students in exploring them. H.S.I: Historical Scene Investigation, a joint project of the College of William and Mary School of Education, the University of Kentucky School of Education, and the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program helps you involve your students as historical detectives.

H.S.I offers fourteen open cases (not all of which are complete), collections of primary sources organized around themes such as Constitution Controversies, the Boston Massacre, and School Desegregation.

Provocative questions induce student engagement and inspire critical thinking.
Each case opens with a provocative question. Dropping the Bomb, for example, gives a brief contextual statement about the Manhattan Project and asks "...did Truman decide to drop the bomb, or was the use of the atomic bomb inevitable?" The investigative challenge follows a student path and a teacher path through a four-step instructional model: Becoming a Detective, Investigating the Evidence, Searching for Clues, and Cracking the Case.

Commentary from historians, worksheets guiding student investigation, and descriptive questions are integral to the instructional model. Primary sources are both textual and visual, and documents are presented in their original language and in a modern, adaptive version. (See John Smith's Description of the Powhatans, 1612, for example). Pedagogical resources for working with documents in elementary school as well as in the higher grades appear in the Teachers View of each investigation.

"The Historical Scene Investigation Project (HSI) was designed for social studies teachers who need a strong pedagogical mechanism for bringing primary sources into their classroom," according to project creators. They invite educators who use their materials to comment on how the project meets their needs.

Post new comment

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <b> <i>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
 
Content