7. Comparing Existing Secondary Sources




(This is the Learning Episode 7 for Carol Buswells teaching unit, “Exploring Your Community.)

Poston, Arizona. Mr. Albert Yava, another newcomer to Poston, is an artist and linguist. He speaks English and the tribal languages of the Tewas, Hopis, and Navahos. Mr. Yava is a painter by trade and makes Kachian dolls. Although Poston, Arizona is soon to be closed to Japanese Americans, it has already seen the beginnings of a new group of residents, the American Indians. On September 1st, [1945] 16 families, a total of 78 people, came to Poston from the Hopi Reservation at Kings Canyon, Arizona. They moved into one of the blocks and seem to like it very much. (National Archives. Records of the War Relocation Authority.)

Poston, Arizona. Mr. Albert Yava, another newcomer to Poston, is an artist and linguist. He speaks English and the tribal languages of the Tewas, Hopis, and Navahos. Mr. Yava is a painter by trade and makes Kachian dolls. Although Poston, Arizona is soon to be closed to Japanese Americans, it has already seen the beginnings of a new group of residents, the American Indians. On September 1st, [1945] 16 families, a total of 78 people, came to Poston from the Hopi Reservation at Kings Canyon, Arizona. They moved into one of the blocks and seem to like it very much. (National Archives. Records of the War Relocation Authority.)

For American Indians, identity development takes place in a cultural context, and the process differs from one American Indian culture to another. American Indian identity is shaped by the family, peers, social norms, and institutions inside and outside a community or culture.

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

 

APPLICABLE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS

Grade 4

  • RI.4.6: Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.
  • RI.4.8: Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text.

Grade 5

  • RI.5.6: Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.
  • RI.5.8: Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point(s).

 

ENTRY QUESTIONS

  • If a secondary source includes an author’s opinion and ideas, how can I tell if one book, drawing, painting, map, or article on a particular subject is better than another?
  • What strategies will I use to examine the secondary sources I have found about my community?

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

The students will be introduced to methods by which to critically examine and compare secondary source materials in order to better understand motivation and bias.

 

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

  • Sample Secondary Source Analysis (C. Buswell). You will need several copies for each student (see the Appendix).
  • Obtain at least two books that demonstrate differences of viewpoint between authors of secondary sources, either about your community or about the Lewis and Clark journey. For instance, the following two books are secondary sources with obvious differences in viewpoint. You might just use the titles as examples if these or similar books are not available.
    • York’s Adventures With Lewis and Clark (Blumberg)
    • The Captain’s Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe (Smith)
  • Print or display the following painting, map, and drawings of Fort Clatsop on the Lewis and Clark Trail.
    • Newman Myrah, “Bartering Blue Beads for Otter Robe” (Fort Clatsop National Memorial Collection FOCL 000104 Cat. No. 698)
    • Map of Fort Clatsop (Library of Congress) Nicholas King after Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. “Map of Part of the Continent of North America…as Corrected by the Celestial Observations of Messrs. Lewis and Clark during their Tour of Discoveries in 1805.” Washington, D.C., 1806? Copyprint of manuscript map. Courtesy of the Boston Athenaeum, Boston (70).
    • Drawings of Fort Clatsop (National Park Service, Lewis and Clark Historic Trail)

Obtain some books and pamphlets relating to elements of your community, such as histories, cookbooks, biographies of local personalities, building histories, local musical events, and the like. For the first few years, you might divide your class into groups and let each group search for material online by focusing on a library or historical society.

You might also find materials at your school library, your local or county public library, a local historical society, local tribal offices, tribal schools, local churches, social and ethnic organizations, Family History societies, your local Chamber of Commerce, and local nonprofit organizations (use the term “nonprofit” to search the White pages online).

Local bookstores often carry material specific to the area in which you live that are not available more widely. Check there for titles.

Local newspaper articles can be searched at the newspaper’s morgue (archives) itself or on microfilm through many college and university libraries.

  • Look through your classroom library for relevant materials and refile in a space marked “local history.”

 

RESOURCES

 

VOCABULARY

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

  • hindsight
  • camas
  • wapato

 

SUGGESTED LESSON DEVELOPMENT

  • At the beginning of the lesson, pass out Analyzing Secondary Sources to everyone in the class (see Appendix). Or, construct an analysis sheet of your own making.
  • Tell the students they will be looking at secondary sources. Review the simple definition poster entitled “Secondary Sources.”
  • The following oral histories are secondary sources (secondhand accounts) because the speaker was not there during the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Some authors will tell you where they got their information, some will not. Storytelling is a long tradition in Native American societies. However, as in all secondary sources, the story is filtered by the teller, most often in order to make a point. The fundamental idea, when examining any source, either secondary or primary, is to think critically.
  • Remind the students of the process many tribes used to verify the facts in an oral history. Replay Oral History and Perspective (P. Bauerle). Tell them they will be examining the secondary sources they hear and read in much the same way.
  • Show the following oral histories and discuss the differences in the stories. You may want to do this on the blackboard. Point out that each group:
    • Had very different experiences with the men of the Lewis and Clark expedition, so the stories passed down to them differ from each other.
    • The storytellers have different reasons for telling the stories to us.
    • Be sure to include questions from or similar to the Sample Secondary Source Analysis in your discussion of each account, such as:
      • Who is telling the story or account?
      • What are they telling us about the experience of their particular group?
      • Where did they get the information they are telling you?
        • Narcisse Blood, Blood Tribe (Kainai). They had already seen some non-Indian trappers. The Oregon Trail was established further South to avoid the Blackfeet. It seemed like a relatively innocent encounter (see episode 5), but it marked the beginning of U.S. domination. The speaker expresses concern for the environment.
        • Tony Incashola, Salish & Pend d’Oreille. Encountering the Lewis and Clark group’s arrival represented the Salish people’s first real contact with non-Indians. This account tells about a buffalo hunt where scouts first met Lewis and Clark. The local tribesmen thought Lewis and Clark were both sick because their skin was pale. They traded horses, fed them, and guided them to Lolo Pass.
        • Dan Jack, Kaw (Kansa). Explains how the Kaw were away buffalo hunting, so did not see Lewis and Clark at all. Learned about the Corps from other tribes. Brush was cut and areas cleared, so the Kaw could see that the Corps had been there.
        • Elaine La Bonte, Grand Ronde Confederated Tribes. Tells about wide trade networks and how they had been trading with Russians and others for 100 years. They already wore European clothing. Uses the Lewis and Clark journals for source of tribal behavior toward the Corps. Strongly disagrees with Lewis and Clark’s assessment of the Tribe’s ability to trade.
  • Next, distribute the painting, map, and drawing of Fort Clatsop. Ask the students the same questions you asked about the oral histories.
    • Who is drawing or painting the story or account?
    • What are they showing you about the experience of their particular group?
    • Where did they get the information they are showing you?
  • Using the two contrasting books (York’s Adventures and The Captain’s Dog or two contrasting books of your own choosing) and ask the questions again:
    • Who is drawing or painting the story or account?
    • What are they telling you about the experience of their particular group?
    • Where did they get the information they are telling you?
  • Have the students use the Sample Secondary Source Analysis to examine the books and articles you have collected about their own community. You will probably want to divide your class into groups for this exercise, with each group examining a single source.
  • Gather the student-written Sample Secondary Source Analysis sheets and put in a binder. Have the students direct your placement of the book on the shelves of the classroom library under an appropriate subject heading, such as “reference material.”
  • Bring out the paper timeline and explain to the students that you will be adding the best secondary sources to the timeline.
  • Assign the second group of students to the Editorial Board who will decide which secondary sources about their community should be posted on the timeline. You might want to use photographs of the secondary source title pages for posting. Instruct students to base their choices upon the analysis worksheet results.
  • Based on the materials added to the timeline, have the students write a paragraph explaining the new elements they have learned from secondary sources.

 

VOCABULARY

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

  • domination
  • trade networks
  • secondary source

 

DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION (FOR ADVANCED AND EMERGING LEARNERS)

Emerging learners will need assistance to fill out the Sample Secondary Source Analysis.

If you have advanced learners in your class, they could do the web searches for materials to be included in your classroom library.

 

SUGGESTED FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT OF LEARNING OUTCOMES

The Sample Secondary Source Analysis worksheets can be used as formative assessments for this lesson.