Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Primary Source Documents and Common Core Standards

Picture I took of some NC info at a nearby playground
Do you know what is on the State Quarter for NC?

Do you know what is on the license plate for the state of NC?

Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903 . . . 

This is an event that we are proud of in NC. While the Wright Brothers were from Ohio, they had trouble finding enough winds for long periods of time for all the experimentation (and having a soft place to fall when the experiment did not turn out as planned), so they contacted the Weather Bureau to ask for suggestions of places that would meet those requirements.Kitty Hawk, NC was one of the places recommended! (information from Smithsonian Education)

So on December 17, 1903, the Wright Brothers orchestrated the first successful powered flight by man at Kitty Hawk, NC!

I wonder how the story told by Orville, the brother who was on the "plane",  would differ from the story told by Wilbur who was on the ground watching ...

I wonder how the stories told by people who were just watching the day would be different ....

I wonder how the story of those in Ohio who got the telegram telling them of the first flight would be different ...

Do stories and accounts change based on perspective?

What about based on whether the stories come from someone who experience the even firsthand or heard about it secondhard?

One of the Common Core Reading Standards for 4th grade addresses that issue:
RI.4.6. Compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic; describe the differences in focus and the information provided.
(This is from the English Language Arts Standards » Reading: Informational Text » Grade 4)

For a firsthand account of events in history, students would need to at Primary Source Documents. Primary Source Documents were a things I had difficulty finding for my students when I was in the classroom.
Luckily, I have now come across several resources for Primary Source Documents: 
Back to the Wright Brothers ...

Here is a Smithsonian Education Unit comparing firsthand accounts and secondary sourcesthat could be used to meet the Common Core Reading Standard discussed earlier in this post:

“Stories of the Wrights’ Flight” is part of a series that employs primary sources in the study of historical events.  Students compare firsthand accounts of the Wright brothers’ first flights on December 17, 1903, and then compare these to a secondary source, a newspaper story that appeared the next day.

When looking at the focus in the area of Key Ideas & Details as well as Integration of Knowledge &Ideas as well as Integration of Knowledge & Ideas, there are many ways Primary Sources can be used to meet many of the Common Core Standards ...

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