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Home » Online Resources » Inquiry & Source Work
Inquiry and Source Work

These Web sites provide a range of ideas, information, resources, and tools for working with sources and using inquiry in classrooms. Many provide tools and resources that can be modified, revised, or adapted for use in Singapore’s classrooms.

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1 Artifact & Analysis
The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies and the College Board collaborated on this Web site so that students will see objects and art works as primary sources that are worthy of historical investigation. The site has sections on artifacts and documents, a teaching guide, essays, writing assignments, and several student handouts that scaffold students’ thinking about artifacts and primary sources.
2 Digital History Inquiry Project
This is a collaborative project among three universities to provide resources and tools for social studies teachers on the methods of historical inquiry. It provides a set of resources, lesson plans, and sections on digital historical inquiry, and “how history is best learned.”
3 Historical Inquiry
This site is part of a project for “scaffolding wise practices in the history classroom. It provides background information, strategies, tutorials, and resources for historical inquiry and understanding the past. It offers the SCIM-C (Summarizing, Contextualizing, Inferring, Monitoring, and Corroborating) strategy for interpreting history.
4 The National History Project Analysis Guides
An excellent site that provides historical thinking and analysis guides, background on history’s habits of mind, and heuristics for doing historical analysis and interpretation.
5 History Matters
A project of the American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning that provides guides and interactive activities for analyzing a range of primary sources (photos, oral histories, maps, films, letters, diaries, numbers, ads, etc.). “Scholars in Action” segments show how scholars puzzle out the meaning of different kinds of primary sources, allowing students to try to make sense of documents and then providing audio clips (or text) in which leading scholars interpret the document and discuss strategies for overall analysis.
6 Finding World History
This Web site is the world history version of History Matters. (See above.) It provides sections on “unpacking evidence,” “analyzing documents,” and “teaching sources.”
7 US National Archives and Records Administration’s Digital Classroom
NARA provides a set of document analysis worksheets for several different primary sources (written documents, photos, cartoons, posters, maps, artifacts, sound recording, and motion pictures).
8 The Library of Congress’ “The Learning Page”
The Library of Congress provides guides, activities, and lessons to help students learn about primary sources and how to analyze and interpret primary sources. It provides questions to guide students’ analyses of primary sources, a time and place rule, and a bias rule to support student thinking about primary sources.
9 The Library of Congress’ Primary Source Toolkit
10 Index Historiae
The historian, Robert Berkhofer, provides a set of study aids for students. These include “reading primary sources,” “reading secondary sources,” and a ten-step process for writing source analysis papers.
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