I like how Schmidt started off the chapter by saying primary sources may be the hardest fun you can have in your classroom. I thought that sentence was spot on because primary sources are a great way to learn, but they can be challenging and have to be administered in the correct way. I think primary sources in history are some of the best ways to get your students attention and get them interested in what they are learning about. However, if you don’t introduce primary sources in the correct way students can have trouble learning from them.

In my practicum we don’t use many primary sources. When I observed a different teacher he had his class using a book that was full of primary source speeches and news articles. In that class they read a speech from President Woodrow Wilson and discussed it as a class while they read. I thought this was a good example of how to use primary sources because the teacher helped the students as they did the reading. There were words and sentences in the reading that were confusing and the teacher would stop the class and explain what those meant. It helped the students understand what the speech was about instead of just reading over the parts they didn’t understand.

I liked how Schmidt gave us multiple different ways to use primary sources and how to make your students comfortable using them. I really liked the recycling bin as a resource idea because it got the students involved in aspects about their town. I think primary sources can be a great learning tool especially if you can relate them to the students.


Students looking at old World War II letters.


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