Thinking about Evidence vs. How do we know what we know?
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Thinking about Evidence
vs.How do we know what we know?If you were developing a court case, which would you use? Why?Primary SourcesFirst hand testimonyDirect evidenceCreated at the time an event occursSecondary SourcesDiscusses information that originally was presented elsewhereAnalyze, synthesize, interpret, evaluate, explain
Primary Source Evidence it is 2055 and a historian wants to learn about teens in 2015 diaries and journals e-mails or FB postsVISA and other credit card bills home movies photographs school records school work clothing music court records census records birth, marriage and death records trash and e-wastesports articles or other things in the paper
What type of records are created daily about a persons life, and might be preserved for that historian to find?
What could a historian learn from each of these things?Choosethreesources that would give the historian of the future THE BEST understanding of teens in 2015Primary Source EvidenceRecord everything you did in the last 24 hours
Put a checkmark () beside any item for which there will be a trace.
How many of the traces were accidental? (A) How many were purposeful? (P)
How many of these traces will likely be preserved? Circle those.
Primary Source EvidenceDISCUSS:How well do those final traces represent your life?
What would someone determine about you if they only saw those traces that were purposeful?
What details are added in by your accidental traces?
Consider this:What might be some of the challenges historians face when looking at evidence?
When examining evidence ASK:Who created it?Why did they create it?Whats their bias or point of view?
"I left a trace" activity from The Big Six p. 50Possible Questions to ask - From The Big Six p.58-63
*These are for teacher reference only! Give the students enough time and space to figure some of these out on their own. They will definitely NOT be able to come up with the whole list, nor should they, but use these to guide or prompt if they are stuck or missing an important concept.
Sourcing Questions:Who made this source?What kind of source is this?How was it made?Why was it created?When and Where was it created?Contextualizing QuestionsWhat was going on in society at the time this source was made that might help us interpret it?What is the worldview or perspective or mindset of the person/people who created this source?What can I learn from the caption, source text and any surrounding text?What is not included in the source? Whose perspectives are missing?Corroboration QuestionsWhat is similar about these sources? How do they differ?Why are they similar or different?Does this source confirm or contradict what I have already learned?Does it extend what I know about the topic?Does it challenge what I have already examined?Do I have enough evidence on this? Can I move on?Why is this source important?
How does the past become history?
The PASTvs. HISTORYBe the detective - What can we learn by looking at the evidence left behind?As a class, lets look at the first room and answer the questions Now practice in another room.
What do you see? Make a detailed list.
What sorts of conclusions might you make from what you are seeing?
What new questions might you ask about the traces they left behind?
What if we are reading the source? What questions would you have to ask so you could learn from it? Who created the source?When and where?What was happening at that time and place?Who was the intended audience?AND, why are you using this source?What are the details you can take from the source?
Knowing the answers to these questions can help you decide HOW to interpret the information.
The married couple with the torch would probably have warned the police: it was Sunday evening, Easter Sunday, no one at the office on Easter Monday, so none of us could budge until Tuesday morning. Think of it, waiting in such fear for two nights and a day! No one had anything to suggest, so we simply sat there in pitch-darkness, because Mrs. Van Daan in her fright had unintentionally turned the lamp right out; talked in whispers, and at every creak one heard Sh! sh!It turned half past ten, eleven, but not a sound; Daddy and Van Daan joined us in turns. Then a quarter past eleven, a bustle and noise downstairs. Everyones breath was audible, otherwise no one moved. Footsteps in the house, in the private office, kitchen, then . . . on our staircase. No one breathed audibly now, footsteps on our staircase, then a rattling of the swinging cupboard. This moment is indescribable. Now we are lost! I said, and could see us all being taken be the Gestapo that very night.Twice they rattled at the cupboard, then there was nothing, the footsteps withdrew, we were saved so far. A shiver seemed to pass from one to another, I heard someones teeth chattering, no one said a word.
Diary of A Young Girl, excerpt - 1952Primary or Secondary?
Handwritten Letter, 19th C.Collection of Personal LettersBirth Certificate, certifiedBiography of George Washington
George Washington (Lansdowne portrait) by Gilbert Stuart, oil on canvas, 1796