Using Historical Inquiry to Engage in Primary Source Analysis

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Welcome to my mini-course! This mini-course will help middle and high school social studies teachers develop lessons promoting historical inquiry and primary sources analysis.

Historical inquiry is where students analyze historical evidence in order to form and test hypotheses about past events.Inquiry lessons introduce students to the "doing" of history. Through using evidence to investigate historical questions, students are given the opportunity to see that history is not just a collection of facts, but rather a rigorously constructed set of arguments. As students encounter new and in some cases contradictory evidence, they are asked to reconsider their initial views, learning that interpretations of the past can change based on the available historical evidence.

Primary sources provide a “window into the past”-access to the record of thought and achievement throughout history, produced by people who lived during that period.

Bringing students into close contact with these important, often profound, documents and objects can give them an unfiltered sense of significant events, ideas, and what it was like to be alive during various time periods throughout history.

Teachers participating in this course will learn step-by-step how to use historical inquiry and primary sources in a social studies classroom to develop students’ critical thinking skills and construct and deepen knowledge in a way that is engaging and relevant to students.

Lesson 1: Importance of Historical Inquiry & Primary Source Analysis

Lesson 2: Teaching Students to Analyze Primary Sources

Lesson 3: Designing Inquiry Lessons Around Primary Sources

Assessment: Developing Your Own Inquiry Lesson Using Primary Sources

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