Topic of lesson:
How can you find primary sources?
Students will understand that primary sources are often located by examining secondary sources such as books, periodical articles, web pages, etc. as well as reference materials including indexes and databases. Students will search some of these sources and create lists of primary sources related to Titanic.
Handout: "What are Primary Sources" from lesson 1; access to online catalogs, online bookstore such as amazon.com, magazine databases such as Electric Library; photocopies of Titanic entries from Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature 1914 and New York Times Index 1914, enough secondary sources about Titanic so that each group has several (borrowed, if necessary, from other libraries); Worksheet 2: "Searching for Primary Sources".
Using the list of eyewitness/participants and the types of possible primary sources p (lesson 1), the teacher leads discussion about how such sources might be further identified and accessed, i.e., "how can we find oral histories/interviews with survivors?" State that identifying primary sources is usually done through examining secondary sources whose authors often include references in their "Works Cited" or "For More Information". Also, a close reading of secondary materials can provide clues. Example: "While the Carpathia was still at sea with the survivors, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution that the Committee on Commerce would investigate the causes leading to the wreck". This alerts the researcher that there is a Senate resolution as well as transcripts of the Senate hearing (government documents that are primary sources) available. In addition, primary sources can be identified through using online catalogs and indexes (paper and digital) as well databases such as amazon.com for in print books.
Teacher reviews kinds of secondary sources and reference tools that may contain information about primary sources. Teacher models completing worksheet using a source. Pairs of students are given several copies of worksheets and work independently identifying sources.
*****Worksheet #2: Searching for Primary Sources*****
Directions: Complete a separate form for each primary source you identify.
Title and/or Description of Primary Source __________________________________
Type of Primary Source (letter, government document, etc.)_____________________
How/Where Found (reference in book, Library of Congress catalog, etc. ___________
When Created ________________ Who Created ______________________________
Students share their results and teacher evaluates their work.
Notes to Teacher:
Students should have the research skills and knowledge to use the following basic reference tools:
*online catalogs Many schools now have such automated catalogs. Students should also be comfortable using the catalogs of their own public library and nearby colleges and universities. Advanced students may also use the Library of Congress catalog
* periodical indexes and databases Many schools subscribe to these on CD-ROM or via Internet. Students should also know how to use the paper version of Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature for pre-1990's articles.
*online book stores such as amazon.com Searching by keyword "Titanic" in these large databases will reveal over 200 books and other items currently in-print. For topics of historical interest, students may find reprints of older materials as well as new interpretations.
If your students are not competent with these tools, plan lessons with your library media specialist. Lesson 3
Topic of lesson:
Analysis of web sites related to wireless telegraphy using CARS Checklist
Each pair of students will use the CARS Checklist to evaluate a website, comparing information from background knowledge provided by handout on Wireless Telegraphy and Titanic (see section of paper)
Handout: "Wireless Telegraphy" (see text); handout of performance task "Wireless on Titanic: The W.O.W. Project"; CARS Checklist; Internet access or print-outs of web sites (locating these sites can be done in a lesson on using different search engines or the teacher can provide these materials); material to engage the students with wireless (clips of video of Titanic or Night to Remember, facsimile of Marconigram, etc.; web sites (see "Materials for Classroom Use")
To engage the students show a video clip that has a connection with wireless on Titanic (operators at work, messages brought to Captain Smith, etc.) or some facsimiles of Marconigrams. Review handout "Wireless History and Timeline" reminding students that what they have read is a secondary source, i.e., developed from other sources. Assign students to small groups, distribute the performance task "Wireless on Titanic: The W.O.W. Project" and review the assignment. Model evaluating a web page using the CARS Checklist. Students then follow the procedures and work online or with printouts of the site to be evaluated.
Teacher checks student work. Students share their results.