This chapter was about primary sources like the previous one, but it went more in depth in how to use people from history. This chapter gave many examples in how to use different primary sources from people in the past. I liked how the author tried to incorporate many different sources and ways to use them to get students interested in the past. The awareness activities Schmidt discussed in this chapter all had to do with primary sources from people. I think this is a good way to get your students interested in using primary sources because they are dealing with what actual people said or wrote down.
I thought most of the examples in the chapter were helpful, but I questioned some of them. The Time-Machine Literature seems like a fun activity but I could never see my freshman doing something like that. They would think it is childish and probably stupid to read something about time travel. If I had a class of seventh graders who were imaginative and willing to read such things it would probably work better. I think when using these primary sources it is important to know your students. The class I am with now is usually unmotivated to do any extra work, and I would have to work really hard to get them to do an awareness activity described in the book. However, I think using these primary sources would be beneficial to students learning. Having students read journals or a dead person’s will, could be eye opening to them. Often times students aren’t interested in history because they don’t think it applies to them. But if they could read a diary entry from someone their age they could gain perspective on what life was like for that person.
Anne Frank’s diary is a good example of a primary source.