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Activities

Your students will probably want to begin working with a unit by exploring its sources. The sources that have been chosen to support the unit topic will give them insights into many aspects of the topic. Doing research with primary sources can be difficult though. Opinions on an issue can vary radically from source to source, without offering context clues to put the opinions in perspective. In addition to this is the fact that your students may not yet have developed the skills necessary to find relevant information in the sources.

For this reason, each unit features a set of Activity questions. These are found just below the image on the enlarged image page.

The Activity questions are intended to help students work effectively with the unit sources. Each source has four Activity questions associated with it. The questions are written to encourage your students to discover information that can be learned from the source but that may not be immediately apparent. Who created the source? Who was their intended audience and what was their purpose in creating the source? What things are you certain of from the source? What things are questionable, and what other types of sources might help you fill in the gaps? Through working with questions like these, your students will learn about the unit's topic as they develop skills in doing historical research using primary sources.

Each Activity question is followed by a drop-down list that contains the answer. This adds interactivity by giving students immediate feedback. Because the questions have been written to be as open-ended as possible, it's important to remind your students that the answers they come up with might be equally valid.