Methods of Inquiry and Skills That Unite The Social Studies

Sourcing/Summarizing

Focuses on a document’s author and the circumstances of its creation.

This video shows skill #4 of sourcing/summarizing being analyzed. There are more videos like this at History Forge’s Youtube playlist Primary Source Analysis-Sourcing/Summarizing.

The seven skills of sourcing/summarizing

Skill #1: Identified the category of the source.

Skill #2: Identified the date and creator of the source.

Skill #3: Identified if the source is primary or secondary.

Skill #4: Described the audience of the source.

Skill #5: Described the purpose of the source.

Skill #6: Described characteristics, bias, or perspectives of the source’s creator.

Skill #7: Described the trustworthiness of the source.

Corroboration

Considers important details across multiple sources to determine points of agreement and disagreement. Corroboration is used when two sources are being put against each other.

This video shows skill #2 of corroboration being analyzed. There are more videos like this at History Forge’s Youtube playlist Primary Source Analysis-Corroboration.

The four skills of corroboration

Skill #1: Listed similarities and differences of the two or more sources.

Skill #2: Identified the different characteristics, bias, or perspectives of the sources’ creators.

Skill #3: Used the sources to question, disprove, or confirm a historical ideas, belief, or fact.

Skill #4: Rejected or accepted a source based on analysis of another source.

 

Monitoring/Questioning

Readers must consider the validity of sources and generate questions on how the source could be used and coupled with other information.

This video shows skill #3 of monitoring/questioning being analyzed. There are more videos like this at History Forge’s Youtube playlist Primary Source Analysis-Monitoring/Questioning.

The five skills of monitoring/questioning

Skill #1: Created questions based on analysis of the source.

Skill #2: Identified ideas, images, or terms that need to be further defined or explained.

Skill #3: Described additional evidence needed to better understand the source.

Skill #4: Describe how useful the source is for answering specific questions. 

Skill #5: Described the strengths and weaknesses of the source.

Contextualization

Requires readers to situate a primary source in time and place. Students must consider the document’s historical context, piecing together major events, themes, and people that distinguish the era in which a document was created.

This video shows skill #2 of contextualization being analyzed. There are more videos like this at History Forge’s Youtube playlist Primary Source Analysis-Contextualization.

The four skills of contextualization

Skill #1: Described a historical moment, person, group, or action.

Skill #2: Correctly connected the primary source to an outside fact to better explain a historical idea, belief, or theme.

Skill #3: Described what people would have thought about the source, while considering the source’s time period.

Skill #4: Used a historical event, person, r thing, that was not mentioned in the source, and explained how it affected the source.

 Inferring/Close Reading

The text will be the primary means to answer the questions. A student’s opinions ground in fact from the source.

This video shows skill #2 of inferring/close reading being analyzed. There are more videos like this at History Forge’s Youtube playlist Primary Source Analysis-Inferring and Close Reading.

The five skills of inferring/close reading

Skill #1: Summarized what happened in the primary source.

Skill #2: Listed important details about the source and described why they were important.

Skill #3: Described the meaning of symbols or objects, or with written documents, the purpose of word choice or specific quotes.

Skill #4: Inferred something about a person, place, or thing based on how the author described it.

Skill #5: Used a historical concept, theme, belief, or idea to further explain the significance or characteristics of the source.