Sunday, August 19, 2012

Reflections on Summer Institute

Now that a couple of weeks have passed from this year’s summer institute, I finally have some time to reflect upon the course and sift through materials to see what will be useful my courses.  Most of my colleagues have mentioned in their blogs things I found particularly useful. Thus, I want to share some methods that can be used to help students analyze primary sources.  These methods were adopted by the Social Studies Department at Wilmington High School.  Most of our department uses these techniques as described below, and others alter them to suit their individual needs.  I hope you can make use of them as well.

I plan to use APPARTS to analyze the letters we looked at during our field trip to the Massachusetts Historical Society.  I plan to use the letters exchanged between Henry Cabot Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt.
  • AP PARTS-When analyzing a primary source document
o       Author:  who created the source, what do you know about him/her, Point of view is key … position in life, background
o       Place & time:  when was this written?  Where?
o       Prior knowledge:  what else do you know about this?
o       Audience:  who is this intended for?  Clerics? Crown? Merchants? Workers?
o       Reason:  why was it created?
o       The main idea:  what point is this source trying to convey?
o       Significance:  why is it important?  So what?  Inferring importance from data.

I plan to use OPTIC to analyze the Pears’ Soap “The White Man’s Burden” advertisement from Ron Woolley’s workshop.
  • OPTIC – When analyzing a visual
  • Overview – look it over for all of its aspects
  • Parts – what are the pieces that make up this picture, photo
  • Title – does the title reveal anything
  • Interrelationships – how do the items/people/subjects of the visual interrelate?
  • Conclusion – what can you draw from this visual?

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