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Primary Documents from the Internet


History is….


Recovering History


Why use Primary Sources?




Students as Historians


Textbooks:  The Source of History Most Students Know


Why not look at what people wrote?  Why not read about their lives?


Why not get students involved?

Reading fiction




Why not use fiction when appropriate?

·        Why do history teachers avoid using fiction?

·        Why not take advantage of the opportunity to teach fact vs. fiction?

·        Why not explore all the wonderful comparisons and contrasts between fact and fiction?


Primary Sources are

Why not provide visual stimulus to foster memory?





Why not visit the Internet as an integral part of instruction?


How to do it?


Ideas to use


How do you start?


Why not look at the people themselves?

A picture is worth a thousand thoughts:  Bloom and Photographs

How can we ask the right questions to get our students to think about primary documents?  How will I know that I have asked a question that challenges students to think to higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy?



Level 1.  Knowledge

When was this picture taken?

Where was this picture taken?


Question Cues:  List, Define, Tell, Label



Level 2.  Comprehension

What is happening in this picture?

Why are these boys dressed like this?


Question cues:  Describe, Name, Identify, Discuss



Level 3.  Application

How would you describe the photograph to others?

What caption would you write for this photograph (in a newspaper)?


Question cues:  Modify, Solve, Change, Explain



Level 4.  Analysis

Why are these boys here and not in school?

What do you know about their lives based on this photo?


Question cues:  Analyze, Separate, Compare, Contrast



Level 5.  Synthesis

What might these boys say about their work in an interview setting?

What might they say about their future?


Question Cues:  Create, Construct, Plan, Role-play



Level 6.  Evaluation

What is the significance of this photo for the time period depicted?

Compare this photo with one of three boys from today of the same age.  How are their lives similar?  How are they different?

Question Cues:  Give opinion, Criticize, Discriminate, Summarize


Technology:  Better Access:  How to convert for use?




So Easy:  How do I get them from the Internet?


Why not make history a living breathing part of their lives?

Using primary sources will make history…


The web is a rich resource for primary sources.  Take a few minutes and find them, then use the documents to enrich your classroom-learning environment.





Sources for the World War I Project Presentation