10. Creating a Secondary Source of Your Own




(This is the Learning Episode 10 for Carol Buswells teaching unit, “Exploring Your Community.)

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Indian School Journal, Volume 1, 1904-1905 (National Archives: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs)

For millennia, American Indians have shaped and been shaped by their culture and environment. Elders in each generation teach the next generation their values, traditions, and beliefs through their own tribal languages, social practices, arts, music, ceremonies, and customs.

Native Knowledge 360°: Framework for Essential Understandings about American Indians, National Museum of the American Indian, 2015.

 

APPLICABLE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

Grade 4

  • W.4.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • W.4.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, and editing.
  • W.4.8: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.
  • W.4.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline­specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

Grade 5

  • W.5.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • W.5.5: With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
  • W.5.8: Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work, and provide a list of sources.
  • W.5.10: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline­specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

 

ENTRY QUESTIONS

  • Can I create a secondary source of my own?
  • What needs to be included in a book about my community?
  • How can I show what is important to me?

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The students will each create a secondary source using information from both primary and secondary sources as well as the student’s own analysis and conclusions. They will also create a citation for their secondary source and add the final product to their classroom library.

 

MATERIALS AND RESOURCES

For a complete listing of all materials necessary for the entire curriculum by episode, see Curriculum Materials and Resources at a Glance.

Materials

This activity can be approached in several ways. Necessary materials differ for each. For example:

  • Creating a booklet
    • Paper suitable for creating a booklet, including:
      • Heavyweight paper for covers
      • Lined writing paper for narratives
      • Paper on which to glue photos and scanned materials the student has gathered.
      • Glue or tape to attach illustrations, photos, scanned journal pages, etc.
  • Writing a play
    • Writing materials or computer and printer for preparing scripts
    • Materials for creating backdrops and sets, such as:
      • Large cardboard containers
      • Drawing and painting materials
    • Materials for creating costumes
  • Creating a documentary or webpage
    • Writing materials or computer and printer for preparing scripts
    • Video equipment
    • Computer equipment
    • Computer programs to support design and completion
  • Creating a visual display
    • Diorama
      • Table and 3 dimensional materials
    • Exhibit
    • Poster board or other background material and art supplies
  • Putting on a school culture fair
    • Materials for booths, each representing a different culture or other group represented in your own community. Elements might include:
      • Food
      • Music
      • Dancing
      • Oral-history telling
      • Artwork
      • Maps
      • Written materials, such as brochures

Resources

 

SUGGESTED LESSON DEVELOPMENT

Introduction

One of the most challenging tasks for creating any informational text is narrowing your topic. This will not be any less formidable a task for your students than it is for anyone else who has ever written a paper or article or even a book. We also must answer the question: “Who cares?” It is far easier to think of large topics, like “World War II,” than it is to consider one that is manageable and interesting, such as “The Army Nurse Corps in Hawaii Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor.”

You and your students have already approached this unit in a way that helps you to answer these questions:

  • What is it about my community that interests me most?
  • What group do I identify with or want to know more about?

Student Activity

  • Reinforce what a secondary source is by showing the book, “How We Crossed the West: The Adventures of Lewis and Clark” by Rosalyn Schanzer.
    • Point out the direct quotations and other references to primary sources.
    • Point out the narrative sections written by Ms. Schanzer, and how she sees the world through her own eyes.
  • Tell them they will be creating their own nonfiction book, play, documentary, website, or artistic display based on one element (an event or idea) from the material they and/or their classmates found about their community. (You may want to assign this final activity to individuals or to smallgroups, depending upon the time allowed.)
  • Have students choose documents and books to support their thesis.
  • Discuss with the class how you might transcribe audio tapes or take photographs of artifacts to include in the secondary source they are creating.
  • Students should write a paragraph describing their projects and their choice of topic.
  • Students should check their final projects for balance in resources and point of view.
  • Explain the fundamentals of writing a bibliography, using the Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, or another format.
    • Primary source citations usually are listed in the following pattern:
      • Item name (You often have to name it yourself based on the document contents.)
      • Series title
      • Creator (In the case of the National Archives, this is a federal agency to which can be added the name and/or geographic location of the specific agency office that created the document.)
      • Location of the original document (Name of library or archives and its geographic location.)
    • For this exercise, in order to reinforce the basic concepts of the curriculum, it would be best to have students separate the bibliography into sections for:
      • Primary sources
      • Secondary sources
      • Artifacts
  • The product itself can be simplified and completed fairly quickly or serve as the foundation for writing practice for the next several weeks following the guidelines of Common Core Writing 2 (4 & 5).

Note

The creation of a secondary source is only one possibility for a culminating activity. Others might include:

  • A school fair, where multiple points of view discovered in the local community are demonstrated through booths (supported by written scripts) depicting dress, food, individuals important in the community and showing all possible viewpoints and cultures, both modern and historic.
  • Student-created proposals for further study of different elements and groups in the community. This could include plans and ideas for monthly field trips or other activities. Perhaps students could do a service project for one community group during each visit.
  • A presentation to other students in the school, to parents, or others describing their library and archives and what each contains.

 

VOCABULARY

Review these words briefly with your students and explain further if necessary (see Glossary).

  • transcribe
  • bibliography

 

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION (FOR ADVANCED AND EMERGING LEARNERS)

Emerging learners may need several class periods to finish their product. They may also benefit from extra practice writing an annotated bibliography in order to help them further see the difference between primary and secondary sources.

Advanced learners might benefit from any reinforcement of the idea that the bibliography is to get a reader back to the original document or secondary source. Students of all levels struggle with this concept.

It might be helpful for both groups to play “document hunt” where students take their first draft citations and trade their list with a classmate to see who can find the document in the classroom archives and library more quickly. If the documents are very difficult to find, the citations need work. Then to correct the citation lists, students who obviously understand the concept and form might be enlisted to assist those who do not.

 

SUGGESTED FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING OUTCOMES

Whatever final project is chosen, each student should be helped to participate in a significant way. Teachers should review the “teacher observation notebook” and check that deficiencies have been addressed by each student. Observation during the preparation process is also important.

 

PDF: Summative Assessment of Learning Outcomes Grading Rubric