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History Matters - George Mason University

Grades
9 to 12
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George Mason University has created what is almost a one stop shopping site for American History. This is a rich resource of primary source materials, introductions to historical analysis,...more
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George Mason University has created what is almost a one stop shopping site for American History. This is a rich resource of primary source materials, introductions to historical analysis, factual material, and much more. The site concentrates on both historical content and the craft of teaching history. This makes it an ideal starting point for social studies or history teachers interested in a fresh approach to their curriculum.

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In the Classroom

This site offers a treasure trove of primary sources that would be useful for any history classroom. Teachers can either use the sources to supplement their lectures, or can use them to start a debate with students on the qualities of effective primary sources. Separate students into groups, and provide each group with a different primary source, although from the same time frame you are studying in class. Have the groups analyze the sources, and a list of reasons as to why or why not their source is a reliable source. From then on, have the groups debate in class which is the most reliable by way of class debate. Not only will the kids synthesize the important information within the sources, but they will also get a handle as to what makes a source reliable.

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