Curriculum Connections

Grades Five to Twelve: Working With Primary Sources

As this program is designed for students at the Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels and is a general skills, rather than content-specific, workshop, it relates to the Inquiry-based Overall Expectations of the Social Studies and History programs.

The SOCIAL STUDIES INQUIRY PROCESS (Grades 5-6)

Formulate Questions:
• Students formulate questions, either independently or with guidance from the teacher, and either individually or in groups

Gather and Organize:
• Students collect relevant data, evidence, and/or information from primary sources, secondary source and/or field studies
• Determine if sources are accurate and reliable
• Identify the points of view in sources they have gathered

Interpret and Analysis:
• Analyse data, evidence and information, applying the relevant concepts of social studies thinking
• Identify the key points of ideas in each source
• Identify biases in individual sources

Evaluate and Draw Conclusions:
• Synthesize data, evidence and/or information, and make informed, critical judgements based on that data and/or information
• Make connections between past and present
• Predict outcomes
• Determine the impact of events, developments, and/or issues on people and/or places
• Take a position and support it with evidence

Communicate:
• Communicate judgements, decisions, conclusions, predictions, and/or plans of action clearly and logically

The HISTORICAL INQUIRY PROCESS (Grades 7-8)

Formulate Questions:
• To explore various events, developments, and/or issues that are relate to the overall expectations in order to identify the focus of their inquiry
• To help them determine which key concept (or concepts) of historical thinking is relevant to their inquiry
• To develop criteria that they will use in evaluating evidence and information, making judgements or decisions, and/or reaching conclusions

Gather and Organize:
• Collect relevant evidence and information from a variety of primary sources and secondary sources, including community sources
• Determine if their sources are credible, accurate and reliable
• Identify the purpose and intent of each source
• Identify the points of view in sources they have gathered

Interpret and Analysis:
• Analyse the evidence and information, applying the relevant concepts of historical thinking
• Identify the key points or ideas in each source
• Analyse their sources to determine the importance of the event, development, or issue for individuals and/or groups
• Identify biases in the individual sources

Evaluate and Draw Conclusions:
• Synthesize evidence and information, and make informed, critical judgements based on that data and information
• Make connections between past and present
• Determine short- and long-term consequences of events, developments, and/or issues on different individuals, groups, and/or regions
• Reach conclusions about events, developments, and/or issues, and support them with evidence

METHODS OF HISTORICAL INQUIRY AND COMMUNICATION
(Example for Grades 10-12 from Grade 10 Canadian History – CHC2D):

Research:
• Formulate different types of questions when researching historical topics and events
• Gather information on Canadian history and current events from a variety of sources (e.g. textbooks and reference books, newspapers, internet) found in various locations (e.g. school, library, resource centre, museums, historic sites, community and government resources)
• Distinguish between primary and secondary sources of information
• Evaluate the credibility of sources and information
• Organize and record information gathered through research (e.g. using notes, lists, concept webs, timelines, charts, maps, graphs, mind maps)
• Formulate and use a thesis statement when researching a historical topic or issue

Interpretation and Analysis:
• Analyse information, employing concepts and theories appropriate to historical inquiry (e.g. chronology, cause and effect, short and long term consequences)
• Distinguish between fact, opinion and inference in texts and visuals found in primary and secondary sources
• Draw conclusions and make reasoned generalization or appropriate predictions on the basis of relevant and sufficient supporting evidence
• Complete research projects that reflect of contain the elements of a historical inquiry process: preparation, research, thesis, supporting evidence, conclusion based on evidence

Communication:
• Express ideas, arguments and conclusions as appropriate for the audience and purpose, using a variety of styles and forms (e.g. reports, essays, debate, role playing, group presentations)
• Use appropriate terminology to communicate results of inquiries to historical topics and issues


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