On March 1, 2014, the new Pennsylvania Core Standards for Reading and Writing in History and Social Studies took effect as a supplement to the existing PA Standards for history. Recently, each unit on HSP’s website has been updated to show to show the PA Core Standards the lesson fulfills.
The PA Core Standards standards encourage reading, understanding, and responding to informational texts “with an emphasis on comprehension, vocabulary acquisition, and making connections among ideas and between texts,” and writing for different audiences using arguments backed up by textual evidence. A great way to achieve these standards is to have students read and interpret primary sources. “Primary sources are integral to helping students achieve the CCSS,” says Rich Cairn in an article from The Teaching with Primary Sources Journal.
Every HSP Unit Plan incorporates primary sources. Many lessons include both Reading History and Writing History Standards, and some also include other standards, such as math and ELA. Using primary sources in the classroom encourages students to think critically, form original ideas, and create arguments based on evidence. You can fulfill several Core standards by having students read and synthesize several primary sources and write a historical argument based on evidence from the sources.