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9 sources for primary docs

I spent the day creating testlets. Yeah . . . I didn’t know what that was either when I first heard it. A testlet, if you’re that curious, is short for Extended Analysis Question.

Great. What’s that?

Extended Analysis Questions are what the University of Kansas is using to create the state Social Studies pilot assessment. An Extended Analysis Question is basically what students will be messing with when they take the test. And I think it’s gonna be pretty cool. A couple of documents, some guiding questions, a graphic organizer, and two writing prompts.

The whole idea being that this can measure historical thinking skills. And if tests really do drive instruction, my hope is that all teachers will begin to focus on the process of social studies rather than just the content.

I can’t share a lot cause, well . . . I signed some sort of agreement. I didn’t read all of it but I’m pretty sure it involved black helicopters and bright lights in my eyes if I say too much.

I can share that we’re using lots of primary sources. So much of my day revolved around tracking down documents to incorporate into my testlets. It was both good and bad. Good because I was able to find lots of primary sources online. Bad because I was able to find lots of primary sources online.

The cool thing?

I found some new sites that I haven’t ran across until today. So I figured I would share some of them with you. I added a couple of places I’ve mentioned before and a few sites that are just fun to visit.

Fun to visit:

Lists of primary source sites:

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Stacey #

    The Internet History Sourcebook has an amazing collection, too:

    December 13, 2013
    • glennw #


      I try not going to that site – I can end up digging around in there forever!

      But it is a very good site for lots of great stuff. Thanks for sharing.

      Have a great weekend!


      December 13, 2013
  2. How wonderful! Part of the National Curriculum for History in Australia involves analysing sources- both primary and secondary and yes, we assess students on their analysis process in both test conditions and in assignments (students must hand in a research booklet that has annotations for their notes and show their process from brainstorm to context to notes to outline to drafting and referencing). Looking at bias, reliability, authorship, etc. is all part of it. Our school uses CUP- Credibility, Utility and Perspective/Point of View with sub questions to guide our kids. I’m glad to see other places are looking at process and not just content. How to think is, frankly, more important than dates and places (and this coming from a history teacher)!

    December 16, 2013
    • glennw #

      Your stuff sounds pretty awesome. I especially like how you’re documenting the process of historical thinking. I think lots of teachers have been focusing on historical thinking for a while but we’ve only been at this at the state level for a year or so.

      I’ve got my fingers crossed.

      Thanks for the post!


      December 16, 2013

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. 9 sources for primary docs | Teaching and Learn...
  2. Stuff I Wanted to Share | 9 sources for primary docs | History Tech
  3. “Breathe. Don’t worry about the test.” | History Tech

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