ERIC Number: ED442124
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Reference Count: N/A
Evaluating Eyewitness Reports [Lesson Plan].
This lesson offers students experience in making historical meaning from eyewitness accounts that present a range of different perspectives. Students begin with a case study in working with alternative reports of a single event: the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. First, they compare two newspaper reports on the fire, then two memoirs of the fire written many decades later. After noting how these accounts complement and compete with each another, students produce a research report explaining how they would use these primary source materials to write three kinds of history: a factual account of the fire, a description of the historical experience, and an interpretation of the fire's historical significance. Turning from this well-documented event, students next consider a unique eyewitness account--the diary kept by a Confederate girl when her Tennessee town was occupied by Union troops during the Civil War. The lesson asks students to evaluate the reliability of this primary source and to draw up a list of questions they would want to ask and issues they would want to explore before making this eyewitness report part of the historical record. To conclude the lesson, students apply their research skills to present-day eyewitness accounts, gathering published examples or conducting interviews, and produce a report on their value and use as historical evidence. The lesson plan also contains the subject areas covered in the lesson, time required to complete the lesson, the skills used in the lesson, the grade level (6-12), and lists of the standards developed by professional or government associations that are related to the lesson, as well as activities to extend the lesson. (RS)
Descriptors: Case Studies, Civil War (United States), Historiography, History Instruction, Interviews, Language Arts, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Research Skills, Research Tools, Resource Materials, Secondary Education, Writing Assignments
For full text: http://edsitement.neh.gov/lessonplans.html.
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.; Council of the Great City Schools, Washington, DC.; MCI WorldCom, Arlington, VA.
Authoring Institution: N/A