Teaching With Primary Sources Lesson: How does imperialism impact a country?

In previous posts (here and here), I’ve described the work high school teachers from the Evergreen and Vancouver school districts did in a professional development cycle funded and guided by the Library of Congress’ Teaching with Primary Sources Western Region affiliate.  This blog post is one of five describing specific lessons created by teacher teams and explored through demonstration lessons using this protocol.

This demonstration lesson, taught at the beginning of a World History unit on the Age of Imperialism, was taught at Heritage High School February 16, 2012.  The students used primary source documents to consider core questions regarding the historical theme:  What is imperialism?  In what ways does it benefit countries? How does it hurt them?

The debrief led participating teachers through some provocative questions: In what ways do primary source images help students? How do they lead to miscues? How can we help students attend to text? Why is sourcing documents important? What is the “right” question?  As with many of the lessons, the tension between providing too much – and too little – context was explored.

The following artifacts from the lesson and its revision are posted for your consideration:

The lesson study team was composed of Julie Harris and Tami Perkins.  They join me in encouraging you to use the comments section below to discuss the lesson.

What do you see in the lesson and the student work?

How did you adapt it for use in your classroom?

How did your students respond?

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