Documents

Guide to Primary Source Planning

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“Preserving American Freedom” project is a selection of fifty treasured documents and manuscripts illustrating the exercise and denial of freedom throughout our nation’s history. All of the primary sources center on the issue of freedom. Freedom as an over- arching theme allows teachers, K -12, great leeway to incorporate these documents into United States History, World History, and several other academic curriculums.


The Guide to Primary Source Planning provides a one page “check list” for teachers to review prior to assigning primary sources. Due to the many distracting responsibilities that teachers must handle on a day-to-day basis, the Guide to Primary Source Planning serves as a simple reminder of what to cover in order for the students to better understand the reading. Teachers may edit or add to the guide as needed in order to improve the study, understanding, and discussion of primary sources within the classroom.


The Guide is intended to be implemented throughout the school year to help reinforce the basic objectives that students should be able to answer with any primary source: who is the author and the date of the document. As the school year progresses, students should become comfortable reading and understanding the basics of the document while learning to develop questions about the document or the historical period and be able to participate in class discussions. Hopefully, by the end of the school year students are able to incorporate the documents into a student-led discussion with original questions and references to the documents. Through the use of HSP’s unit and lesson plans, as well as other documents within  “Preserving American Freedom,” teachers will be able to develop a wide array of assignments centered on primary sources.

The Guide to Primary Source Planning is attached as a PDF file.