The Use of Primary Sources in Teaching Essay example

The Use of Primary Sources in Teaching Essay example

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Primary sources are materials that come directly from the person or event of record. Such sources could include journals, documents, letter, diaries, memoirs or artifacts. Teaching is made easier with primary sources because students are able to relate to the topic through original visual and audio cues. Primary sources are used to teach virtually any subject from history to science, and even mathematics. It is simple to find and use primary sources online. Many universities, museums and government agencies have digital databases that can be accessed for educational purposes.
• Library of Congress: Primary Sources Guide This lesson guide presents ideas pertaining to the use of primary sources for teaching. Includes various source types and a guide showing how to use them.
• Teaching History Using Primary Sources This teaching guide focuses on using KWL charts with primary sources for increased learning comprehension.
• Primary Resources Online The Reference and User Services Association gives a thorough overview of using the web for primary source research and learning.

Historical Government Documents
Simple talk of government documents is apt to leave many adolescents yawning. When these documents are presented directly in front of their eyes, they are likely to brighten up and retain more of the lesson. Having a tangible source of information is more interesting that reading about it only in text. Giving children and teens the opportunity to explore these historical documents as they were originally written allows a greater level of interaction, which will help keep them interested.

• 100 documents in U.S. History These documents were chosen by the National Archives and Records Administration because of their comprehe...


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...rican History An online collection of artifacts including everything from military and government pieces to food and natural resources.
• Arrowhead Archive The Lone Star State’s arrowheads are pictured on this artifact database. A great resource for elementary ages.
• American Artifacts A series of collections of artifacts throughout the history of America.
• African Artifacts A dated list of artifacts from ancient Nubia.

Primary sources are a comprehensive way to teach various subjects. This method of teaching appeals to students and instructors alike as it is a way to consciously make a connection with the proposed subject matter. Primary sources let students engage assorted senses all at one time. This helps to keep the focus of the subject matter. Mindful focus results in a higher level of learning and allows the student to retain the information taught.

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