Who Do You Believe?

Students will compare and analyze primary and secondary sources. First, a review on sources will be provided and background information will be front-loaded about John White and Theodore de Bry. The teacher will model how to compare and analyze sources by using the watercolor painting and engraving titled, The broiling of their fish over the flame and fire. Students will split into small groups where they will compare and analyze work created by John White and Theodor de Bry. After comparing and analyzing sources, the students will be able to identify which source is more reliable. This lesson relates to the MCPS curriculum in that students are to learn about primary sources and how the sources help one to better understand the past.

Lesson Objective

Students will be able to compare and analyze primary and secondary sources to determine reliability by completing an exit card.

Materials

Procedure

  1. Before the lesson, students would have already received instruction on culture and how to interpret culture. Students should also have begun analyzing primary sources, for example, descriptions of Native Americans from Father White’s journal entry. Students should be using the terms primary and secondary sources from their study on Historic St. Mary’s City and the Native Americans of North America.
  2. This lesson will begin with whole Group Instruction (Teacher will use teacher created flip chart for the promethean board.)
  3. The teacher will start by introducing the objective for the lesson so students know what they should know by the end of the lesson: Students will be able to compare and analyze primary and secondary sources to determine reliability by completing an exit card.
  4. The teacher will display definitions of primary sources along with examples and secondary sources along with examples.
  5. After front-loading source terminology, teacher will have students come to the Promethean board while working on a primary and secondary source activator. This activity consists of primary and secondary source examples and students must drag the examples into the correct box. This will also help the teacher identify strengths and weaknesses in student understanding on primary and secondary sources.
  6. The teacher will front-load background knowledge on John White and Theodor de Bry. Students have already learned some information, but this will visually remind students that John White created primary sources while Theodor de Bry created secondary sources.
  7. The teacher will model how to compare and analyze the same picture created by John White and Theodor de Bry. The difference is that John White’s painting is a primary source and Theodor de Bry’s engraving is a secondary source. There are also differences in what the pictures contain. For example, John White’s only shows the fire and fish while Theodor de Bry’s shows Native Americans cooking the fish. (The broiling of their fish over the flame of fire)
  8. Questions asked will include:
  9. (a) Sourcing: Is John White in a good position to be a good reporter about the event? Why or why not? Is Theodor de Bry in a good position to be a good reporter about the event? Why or why not? Is the account believable? Why or why not?
  10. (b) Close Reading: What do you see?
  11. (c) Contextualizing: When was the painting created? When was the engraving created?
  12. (d) Corroborating: How is the painting and engraving similar and different? What document seems more reliable or trustworthy? Why?
  13. Small Group Instruction: The teacher will split the class into 5 small groups when comparing and analyzing a different picture created by John White and Theodor de Bry. (The manner of their fishing)
  14. The teacher will pass out the note-taking worksheet to guide student discussion.
  15. Questions asked will include:
  16. (a) Sourcing: Is John White in a good position to be a good reporter about the event? Why or why not? Is Theodor de Bry in a good position to be a good reporter about the event? Why or why not? Is the account believable? Why or why not?
  17. (b) Close Reading: What do you see?
  18. (c) Contextualizing: When was the painting created? When was the engraving created?
  19. (d) Corroborating: How is the painting and engraving similar and different? What document seems more reliable or trustworthy? Why?
  20. The teacher will walk around and help support student discussion while observing students.
  21. Closing: Students will then take their notes and share gathered information with another student from another group. Students will be given time to ask for clarification.

Assessment

Students will be informally assessed while working with small groups on comparing and analyzing primary and secondary sources. Students will also be formally assessed by completing an exit card. The question is as follows: “Which source seems more reliable or trustworthy? Why?” Students will be able to use their notes while completing the exit card.

References

Cerino, Chris, Bennett, Sari, and Robeson, Pat. “Native Americans Of The Chesapeake Bay: Using Primary VS. Secondary Sources.” Captain John Smith 400 Project Curriculum Unit. http://www.johnsmith400.org/Native_Americans_Primary_and_Secondary_Sources.pdf (accessed November 12, 2012).