Unit 3: Evaluating Sources

From KNILT

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Objective

Given background information and materials, learners will evaluate authors' differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors' claims, reasoning, and evidence.

Introduction

As we’ve seen in the Lunchroom Fight and Snapshot Autobiography lessons, different people often have different accounts of what happened in the past.

One question that historians face all the time is who to believe? What makes one account more trustworthy than another?

Activity

Participants will evaluate six historical questions based on 2 sources. They will decide which answer choice is more trustworthy after evaluating the sources.

Click the link to begin the quiz. GOOD LUCK!! https://play.kahoot.it/#/k/ec238ad8-cde9-4dc7-b4b8-4138fa25d05a

Discussion

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After reviewing student answers, students will explain their rationale for the source they chose in the Discussion Area (tab at the top of the page). Share your thoughts with your students and encourage students to review at least two other responses, and provide some feedback. Make sure students explanations are based on the following criteria:

Purpose

-What is the purpose or motivation for the source? (e.g., educational, commercial, entertainment, or promotional.) -Is it trying to sell you something? How easy is it to differentiate advertisement from content in the source? -Based on your knowledge, is the information fact, opinion, or propaganda? -Who is the intended audience for the information, and how is this fact reflected in the organization and presentation of the material?

Authority

-Is the author identifiable? -What is the author's background? (e.g., experience, credentials, and occupation, and has he or she published anything else on the topic?) -Does the author cite his or her sources? -How current is the publication? -When was the resource last updated or revised, and how often is it updated?

Reliability

-How stable does the resource seem to be? The resource’s dependability (particularly in the case of Web sites) is important if it is going to be cited as a source or recommended for use by others.

-For Web sites, do most of the links on the page work? From your evaluation of currency and authority, do you think the resource will be there the next time you visit it?

Coverage

-What information is included or omitted?

Closing Comments

The key takeaway from this activity is that historical understanding is intertextual. Though students are asked to choose one source over the other in this lesson, they would ultimately need to corroborate their sources with additional evidence in order to adequately answer these historical questions.

Resources:

DIY Investigation Rubric http://www-tc.pbs.org/opb/historydetectives/static/media/downloads/2011-04-12/teachers_rubric.pdf


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