What Were They Thinking Then, What Are We Thinking Now?
Submitted by klehman on Tue, 03/08/2011 - 00:05
Thomas Dale High School
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Compare primary sources from two time periods to analyze issues from a work of literature.
After reading a novel or play for English class, students will pick a main issue in the work and compare how the issue is perceived in two primary sources from two time periods. Newspaper articles will be accepted as primary sources in this assignment. One source must be from the time period of the novel. One must be from today’s point of view. Students will consider how three characters in their book view the issue. Students will consider these questions: Are the characters in agreement over the issue? What do you think the author is trying to say by creating this situation? Would one character agree with the first primary source you found? Looking at the second primary source from “today”, ask yourself: have the ideas and perspectives about the issues changed with time? Has the issue been resolved? Why or why not?
Students will create a PowerPoint to present their findings covering the issue and how the characters would respond to the primary documents. This is a 10th grade American Literature class.
In the library students compare primary sources from two time periods relating to an issue in their novel or play. Students compare how the issue was perceived by characters in their work to how it is perceived by individuals today. The essential questions for this lesson are: Have the ideas and perspectives about the main issue of the novel or play changed with time? To what extent has the issue been resolved?
Students will create PowerPoint presentations displaying the two primary sources, the issue of their novel or play and how they perceive their characters would respond to them. Students will also analyze their issue in terms of today’s attitudes and defend their opinion.
• Students will learn to analyze their topic for keywords and keyword combinations to use in online searches.
• Students will learn to develop questions to answer in their research about the issues in their work to determine what type of primary document to locate.
• Students will learn to access primary sources online from the Library of Congress.
• Students will learn to access historical newspapers using Google News.
• Students will learn to access subscription databases with historical documents on the issues in their novel or play.
• Students will learn to persist in revising their search terms as needed to generate an appropriate results list for their topic.
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For students with physical disabilities, the databases and online search engines provide audio access and enlarged text. The keyboard helps those with fine motor disabilities. Much of the information gathering and citation collection can be done as point and click with the mouse.