So it’s Monday and I’m back at Northlake Woods to continue on with the work we had started last time. Previously we had been looking at the Virtual Library and the resources available there. Today we looked at Primary and Secondary sources, primarily how to distinguish between the two and how to find them.
We do have a selection of primary sources links and databases in the Virtual Library but some of the material is too hard to navigate for grade 7 and 8 so we did spend quite a bit of time trying to find age appropriate material.
We spent the first period looking at the difference between Primary and Secondary sources and having some discussion about what it is that determines whether it is one or the other. I had them work together in a Pair/Share first, and then had them bring back their ideas into the larger group. Surprisingly, most had a good handle on what constituted a primary resource- they even came up with suggestions that I had not thought of, e.g., a text message. My how time changes;)
The previous week, we had spent time on the Virtual Library looking at the general reference encyclopedias and the various information databases and of course, StudentLink. For the second half of the lesson I turned them to loose (working in alone or in pairs) as they went through the various sources to sort into Primary and Secondary. We had some great discussion (sometimes very lively).
I had adapted a primary sources worksheet from the War Museum of Canada for the lesson. The unit of study the students were about to start was New France so I wanted them to be apply to find sources that would support their research in that area.
I also found a great website for primary sources that existed outside of The Virtual Library that would support their work as well.
The lessons went well and the teacher felt very comfortable continuing on with the work in her classroom. Hopefully, I will get invited back again:)