Lesson Plan

Researching the Past Using Primary Sources

Knock, knock! It’s the U.S. Census Bureau! In this lesson plan, students analyze primary sources in the form of census data to do research that helps them answer questions about famous people and the time period during which they lived.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Analyzing Primary Sources with Past Tense Verbs pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Analyzing Primary Sources with Past Tense Verbs pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to analyze primary sources and answer questions about those sources.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments

Introduction

(5 minutes)
Reading Primary SourcesPrimary Sources: Joe DiMaggioUsing Primary SourcesPrimary Sources: Walt Disney
  • Ask students to think about where they might look for information if they wanted to do research about people, places, or events of the past.
  • Write students' ideas on the board.

Beginning

  • Provide the question in students' home language (L1).
  • Place students with a supportive partner or with an EL with the same home language (L1) to brainstorm ideas of where they might look for information before sharing with the whole class.

Intermediate

  • Include visuals next to students' ideas as they are written on the board (e.g., an image of a diary).

Related Guided Lesson

Informational Text 3

3 online exercises
5 printable worksheets
View Guided Lesson
Grade
fourth grade
Subject Reading & Writing