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Last Updated: March 22, 2023

Teaching Historical Contextualization using Gale's In Context Primary Sources

Use the Primary Sources provided within Gale in Context: High School, Middle School, U.S. History, and World History to support primary source analysis and teaching historical contextualization within your Social Studies classroom. In this session we discuss how to create analysis activities as well as where to find some premade examples in order to meet the needs of your Social Studies learning standards.
Duration: 45 Minutes
What we are going to look at today is

looking at teaching historical contextualization

through Gale in Context's primary

sources. And so

um I am a former social studies

teacher, I taught us history in the classroom

for about 15 years. And

we are going to look at some

of the things that I created in

order to be able to use in the classroom.

So a brief agenda of what we

are looking at again is an overview

of the importance of historical contextualization

and using primary sources. I wanted to highlight

a couple of national standards

and what those national

standards say should be taught in the

classroom. And then I want to look at how

gas and con text can support

those national standards and

teaching those in the classroom through

two ways. One is accessing

the premade lesson plans that we have made

for you in doing this, but also

some tips and tricks on how to create some

custom lessons using those


And then as always, um

I want to end with some time

for questions and some support

before I sort of let you go today.

So starting off with common

core literacy standards on primary

sources. Now, I do know that

a lot of states have also adopted

standards that are dealing

with primary and secondary sources.

Um, but since this is

a Webinar that goes across

the United States, I wanted to stick

to some of our national standards. And one of those

are the common core literacy standards and

those are divided up into

ninth and 10th grade standards and then 11th and 12th

grade standards. And you're gonna see the 11th and 12th

grade standards sort of

Um bump up from the 9th and 10th grade

standards. But starting out with the 9th and 10th

grade, it talks about citing specific

textual evidence to support

analysis of both primary and

secondary sources and attending to such

features as the date and origin

of the information. And what you're gonna see

is these lesson plans typically

deal with both primary and secondary

sources. And one of the very first questions

most of these are going to ask is when

is this written? And what style

is it written? What type of document are

we looking at? And so hopefully

it's really teaching students to analyze

the sourcing information of what they're looking

for before just diving into

the main content, which supports that

common core standard.

The next is determining the central idea

or information of that primary or secondary

source and providing an accurate

summary of how key events or ideas develop

over the course of the text. And So

you're gonna see the question of like, what's the

overall point of this? What point are they

trying to get across?

Moving on to the 11th

and 12th grade standards, which get a little bit

more complex, looks at sort

of the complex primary source structure,

um how it's structured,

what kind of ideas are

um given out based on the structure

And then integrate those information from

diverse sources of both primary and secondary

sources into the understanding of an

event, noticing the discrepancy

among the sources. And so a lot of

times this is comparing two different sources.

And so this is something that you could build on to

these individual lessons using

a secondary one.

And so what you're gonna see is that all of these

lessons are going to support some of

these common core literacy standards,

even though they are typically being taught

in the social studies classroom. These can

also be um

changed and used for

the E L A classroom or really

uh a whole lot of different areas

that can use these primary and secondary

sources that are in here.

The next is historical thinking skills

for advanced placement. Again, trying

to stick to national standards. I wanted

to look at the standards that are

in um the A P classroom

and specifically the histories of the A P classroom,

although you're gonna see similar ones and things

like A P government politics.

Um But in my classroom

for when I was teaching for 15 years, I taught

A P US history. And so

the origin of these lesson plans

came from things that I would have used in my

A P US history classroom. And

since then I also um became

certified through college board

as a consultant for A P US history

and teaching other teachers how to teach that

course. And so these are things that

I very much know can

help with. not only the content

that's being taught in the US history

and World history classroom, but

specifically the skill building of what

we're looking to teach in those classrooms.

So I want to focus on a couple of the skills

that are required in the A P classroom.

First is the sourcing and

situation skill.

And that looks at analyzing the sourcing

and situation of primary and secondary sources

to identify a source's point of

view, purpose, historical situation

and or audience. And so it's

really understanding what's happening

in the background of these on top

of what's happening in the primary source,

explain the point of view, purpose,

historical situation and or audience

of a source and explain the point of view, purpose,

historical situation and

or audience of a source

um with that. And so what

you're looking at is you're looking at,

do I know why this is written?

Do I know the audience this is written

to um do I understand what's

happened in the author's background

to make them write this article.

Do I understand what's happened

in history to make them write

this speech or this article? And so

not only are we wanting students

to be able to read and analyze the

sources, we're wanting students to

be able to read and analyze the sources

within the history that

they were written.

And so that's what we're looking at.

The. Next is the claim and evidence of

the sources and this is actually analyzing

the arguments, right? Can we understand

what's happening in that primary source?

And so can we understand what's

happening in the argument? Can we

identify the evidence that they're using

to support their argument? Can we

compare the argument um of

two sources? And this one specifically

is done


um the world history one where we compare

two of the secret treaties prior to World

War one.

And so you're gonna see that

analysis of two different sources between

two different four different countries um

of what they look like. And then,

you know, explain how evidence

is used to support that.

The fourth one that these really support

is analyzing the context

of contextualization.

And this one, I think is perfect

for the in context suite

because again, you are not only getting

these primary sources, but

you're getting all of the reference

material that helps you put these primary

sources in their proper context

and explain how


um how that developed, right,

explain the history behind

it. And so what

we see is again, not only are we wanting

to teach students the


and what happened, but we're

wanting to teach them the skill of

analyzing these primary and secondary

sources and also

analyzing them within their proper context.

Because really in the the classroom,

we're looking at

um not just sort of teaching

them information, but we're

looking at how we are

teaching them to build the skills

that they're gonna need to analyze

that content and analyze that information.

And so I developed these lesson plans

to try to do that, but also to give

examples of how to create more

of these, using the great resources

that are in this, in context suite.

And so what I wanna do now is

I wanna look at the ones that I've already


and what's in them, how to find

them all of that nice information.

And then after we look at that, I want

to look at how we can

make more. All right, how

especially those of you that are

here from the support staff

and not necessarily classroom teachers

of how important your

role is in

developing these skills in

the classroom as well and, and being

a part of the team that goes into

this. So before I, I get too

far, let's look at the ones that I've already

made. So what is in each

of the lessons that's already made one,

it starts out with some teacher instructions, it

goes through the basic grade level.

Um and the content and the subject

gives you a small summary of the lesson,

but it also tells you

um the resources that can

be used in this lesson and, and what in context

this goes with, they all go with the in context

suite, but they're gonna use different

um in context databases.

And then it also gives you a suggested

time frame. Again, you can use these

um some of them have extension

activities which would create a little bit more

time or you can cut those to save a little bit

of time and then the procedures, right?

What exactly happens in this

lesson plan? Next is a student

handout and this, you can either

make copies and distribute that

way or you could digitally distribute these

to the students um through

the PDF

and this just walks them through the questions

and how to access the material of what

they're looking for. And then finally,

hopefully to make lives easier

of your teachers is an answer key that goes

with it. And so there are a few parts

of this that the answers are gonna vary based

on what the students see of them, but some of them

are very specific content based

questions. And so you're gonna

have an answer key for those questions.

So um one of the questions that just

came in is what grade levels are these available

for? They are mostly available for high school, although

some of them are gonna work for in context, middle

school as well. And so they are

a, a middle school to high school range.

And then when you're creating them, you can

create them for any level. Um including

I think upper elementary can really start

being exposed to these as well.

So next is where to find

them. Um You can find these on

our support page and there's actually in a couple of different

places. And so I'm gonna show you

a couple of different places when we jump into your live.

But if you're looking for the easiest this

is on our support ca support page

um under our training center

and you're gonna look under these content specific

specific materials

and then they're right here right now

under the featured content, these gale

and context primary source lesson plans

and then you're gonna see the ones that

are already premade for you.

The other thing that I want to

point out is that we are going

to use um the gale

document number to help you access

these. And so you

can either do this as a support

staff and find these documents and then link

them out for the students or the students

can use this. Um You may just

want to show them how to, to access

this material through this. So you would go to the

advanced search and you're in contact

text database and

search for the gale document

number that is included on the student


and from there, um

it's gonna give you the resource

that we're using. And then again, best practices

may be for the support staff to go ahead

and find those documents and then use something

like the get link tool to then

send that specific link out to

the students to be able to do that.


let's go ahead and take a look of

where to find these on the support page.

So the support page is support

dot gale dot com.

Again, support dot gale dot

com is our support page and there's

gonna be a whole lot of materials in here. If

you haven't ever visited our support

page, please do because we are constantly

creating materials to be

able to use. Um But

the first pathway that I showed

you to be able to get here is under this training


and this content specific materials

and then you have this gale in context

primary source lesson plans.

And if you click on those,

here are the six that I've already

created for use in the classroom

and you are free to send these out and use these

however that you would like.

And so the first one that I made

and and one of my favorites that we can look at

is this lesson planned from Frederick

Douglas of looking

at the primary source of what to the slave

is the 4th of July.

And so again, they start out with

the teacher's procedures and teacher's

hand out.

And then you have the student hand out

after that

to e e again, either distribute

uh digitally or distribute

um by copies.

And then at the bottom

uh is the answer key that goes along with

it. So again, just make sure you don't distribute

the answer key when you are distributing

the digital version of the student handout.

And so you'll see that there is a search path

here or there is an

advanced search of the gil document

number. And that is the easiest

way to me to be able to make sure that you're dealing with

the right documents

um in the sense that uh

we are uh making

sure we're all on the same page and how

to find those

um is I'm gonna go ahead and

search with us history. You'll see that this one works

with us history and context

high school in context

and um

middle school. Oh, I do want to show you the other couple

pathways before I jump in on how to do that because

this is in here several times. But I also want

you to be able to look around at all the other great

materials that we have

in here.

So again, I found that

um through the training center, content specific

materials. But again, if I just go to support

dot gale dot com and go to the training center,

I could also find it here by browse by


and this is a lesson plan. So

if I click on lesson plans,

they are here for me and lesson plans.

These are six new ones. So they're up

here at the top, but it also gives you the ability

to scroll down of some of the other lesson plans

that are already created for you here.

Or if I went to the training center, I could browse

by product and I like the browse by product

because if you are not a subscriber

to all the different types of products,

then you can see

um which ones are there for your product.

So again, I am

going to look at Gale and context us


and I can if I scroll down. So here's

the webinar that you're in right now

and then I could look at some printable tools

or I could look at all these lessons and activities

that have been created for

Galan context us history, including

these ones with a little new tag. These

are the ones that we're talking about today. These

um these lesson plans here.

So again,

was gonna click on this one and I'm actually

gonna go into Galan context

high school to show us

because that's what we're gonna be in today.

But again, this works for us history, high

school and middle school for this particular

one. So as long as you

are a subscriber to any of those three, this

particular lesson plan will work

And so if I go into my

Gael and Context high school,

and I'm looking for this particular

primary document to link out to my


and I am going to search by document

number and this is the one that I got

from that handout.

And then if I go to this field and I change

to gale document number

and I hit my search.

The nice thing about this is I know

that it's the document that is being

addressed in there because only one

is gonna come up and I'm looking for

that particular gale document and it's

the same number in all the different

databases that it's in. And so we

have this primary source of

this beautiful Frederick Douglass speech

that he delivers in 1852.

And so this is one of the resources

that a lot of those questions are on based

on that. And so again, best practices

I think is to go ahead and link

that out to the students using this get

link function right here.

And that creates a persistent URL

to this document to be able

to send it out.

Um or you, if you use Google classroom,

you could automatically share it to your Google

classroom that way. Um or

send it to my Google drive my one

drive or my email. But again,

the most versatile I think here is this

get link tool, send it directly to the students

so that they know exactly where they are accessing

this and this gives you

access to this particular

primary source that's in here and

to be able to very easily

do this activity with the students.

OK. Are there any questions

before I move on to some of the advice

to creating your own

projects for the students using

these primary sources?

I've seen a couple come through that have gotten

answered. So I appreciate that if you guys

answering them as I go.

And again, there are six of these that are premade.

Um But obviously, I have not made everything

that's possible in here. You're gonna see a whole lot of primary

documents. And so I do think it's really important

to look at all the great things that can

be made using these databases.

OK? I don't see any more questions coming through,

but again, please feel free to reach out

as we as we do this.

OK. So where are primary

sources within Galin context? These are all

the different databases that are

going to have these primary documents.

And so you're gonna see these are in biography

gain context, Canada Galan context, college

gain context, global issues, high school,

middle school, opposing viewpoints, us history

and world history. And so

these types of lessons can be created

using any of these different in context


And in order to create these, I

think you should utilize um

really both but two different search

paths. One is utilizing the advanced

search and looking for

primary sources. And so combine

your search terms and limiters to find the perfect

document for your product project.

Um And then also consider using advanced

search to find other unique sources to analyze

of images or infographics or creative

works. But again, we are specifically

looking at primary sources today. And

so there is a content type

of primary sources within here

and so feel free to use that advanced

search if you know a particular document

that you are wanting your students to analyze,

or you could utilize the content

buckets that are here within

our searches and our topic pages.

And so um you could then

dig even further and filter

those tools to discover the resources you're

looking for and then don't forget to filter by

content level too, especially if

you are looking for something that maybe

is middle school or upper elementary

appropriate um for

this. But again, primary sources are in middle school, they

are not in Gale In Context: Elementary.

Um at least yet. So make sure

that you are looking for some of those

in the middle school database.

But again, we can filter our results within

those content buckets to look for

the specific examples of what we're looking

at. And

don't forget that you have those great

tools within Gale In Context

that you can use to further your lessons.

If you notice on the Frederick

Douglas lesson plan that I had just

pointed out, if you were following along there

is an extension there that uses the highlights

and notes tools. So you have the ability to

share that content using get link,

download or send to. You

also have the ability to use are amazing

accessibility tools within

our database and make sure that you are

translating, using different font sizes,

display options or especially

some of these um are very

difficult for our our emerging

learners. And so the listen tool becomes

really important when we're dealing with primary sources.

And then again, encouraging analysis. The extension

of the

um the Frederick Douglas has

uh highlights a notes tool being used

to highlight three different portion


the um of the speech

that they find particularly important

and using the notes tool to be able

to summarize what exactly

Frederick Douglass meant by that and, and

turn it in.

And then also, you know, to develop

those research skills. Again, one of the important

takeaways, I hope that you get from these lessons

is not only are we building

content knowledge, but we're building

skills that go along with analyzing

these primary sources and

using historical contextualization

and point of view, but also how

easy this would be to do some further research.

So let's go ahead and take a look at how

to find these primary sources within

our in context databases. And

we're gonna stay within high school

of just looking for some examples.

So I'm gonna go back to the high school home page

again, I'm in Gale in Context high School, but this

is gonna work similarly in all

those different databases that I already

mentioned. So we'll start with our advanced

search. And again, we

have the different content types down here and I know

I'm looking for primary sources. So I'm gonna go

ahead and click that primary source content

type. And one of the ones that

I haven't made yet that I always

used in my classroom because that's one of my favorite

primary documents um

is Washington's farewell address. And

so if I were going to search

for Washington's farewell address, I might

look for Washington

and farewell

and do a general search there

knowing that I'm looking for that primary

document and seeing if that primary document

is here for my project that I'm wanting

to do,

give it just a second, it's searching through all

the great materials that we have.

And so we see that it's bringing

up this text of Washington's farewell


And so it is in here, right? We have

the primary document in here to use

and so I can find some primary

documents that way that I might want to.

But again, this is using the advanced search

because I had something specific in mind. Now,

you could always just search through the

primary documents and look at all the

different types of sourcing that

you have here. But in teaching

in my classroom, I know some of the,

the documents that I want to be able to use

or at least I know maybe the person

that I'm looking for a primary document

in. And so I have this great text

that I could use to send to my kids.

Again, I could send it out. Um

And my kids have this and again,

we have the accessibility tools, they can increase

or decrease the font size, they could

change the display options. Um

But especially for our primary

sources, I love the listen tool because

one of the,

you know, great hardships

of teaching us history and primary documents

is this is something that I would cover early

on in the year and it's kind

of difficult, right? If you look at my reading level

of this, which I can't change because it's a primary document,

it's it's at an undergraduate level.

And so I really love the listen

tool here so that students can listen

to this primary document and understand

it and kind of chunk it a little bit that way


um it, it's sort of, you know, one

of the the hardest things about primary sourcing

in us history is sometimes you have to start

out with some of the harder documents and

the plain speaking documents come a little

later in us history and not in the early

days. So I really love the accessibility

tools for that one, but especially the listen tool

now that was using advanced search,

another way was we could just use our topic

pages or our general searches and our content

buckets there.

And so if I were to search George Washington

here, and

I notice not only with my

searches, do we have a topic page for George

Washington? We actually have a topic

page just for George Washington's farewell


And so if I'm gonna click on there, I can

see in my, in my bucketed content

that I do have a primary source here,

right? Which is gonna be the same primary

source I just brought up in here. But

if I'm having the students again, if

you notice in most of these lesson plans,

not only am I giving the students the actual

primary document, but I'm giving

them some reference material to go with it

because the the skill here

is not only to read and analyze the primary

document, but to be able to put

that primary document within

its historical contextualization, right?

To be able to understand what's happening

in the background to create this primary

document. And one of the reasons

that I loved teaching George Washington's

farewell address is because it's just chock

full of all of these

um comments of what's going on

within the United States at the time, right? He

goes through all the different issues

that he's seeing within his administration.

Well, the students don't understand

what's happening in George Washington's administration.

They're gonna have a really hard time analyzing

this primary document.

And so in this sense,

this is a really great example of

something that we can give the students the primary

document. But we could also

use this get link to send students

right here to this topic page

of George Washington's farewell

address. You don't even have to pick a specific

reference material that goes with them.

You can use that get link and send them just

here to this topic page and therefore

they can go through and they can find their own

answers to what is he referencing,

right? What is happening in the background?

Or if I wanted to specifically

give them one of these references,

I have one of these references like this, which

is specifically going over the farewell

address and it goes over some

of the themes and context

of what happening within George

Washington's farewell address. And so not

only do I have access to these beautiful

primary sources, but I have all the

reference materials that go with them.

And so here I'm seeing the major

themes, I'm seeing the theme of international

relations and everything that's happening. I'm seeing

the development of political parties and

why that's a theme within

Um this particular

document. It gives me some quotes from

it. It gives me this theme of nationalism and

feed uh federalism.

And so it would be really, really

easy for me to give them both of these documents

and maybe say, OK, highlight

in one color um where

you're seeing the theme of this international

relations and highlight in another color

where we're seeing the theme of political

parties and where George Washington is

bringing that up in his farewell address.

And so there's so many different ideas

and examples of how we

can use this within the classroom

and using this to build that content

knowledge and that skill, knowledge

of what's happening um

within our primary sources and

primary source information that are within these.

Um And so again, some of this is also

finding the secondary information

because if you notice in all

of those um national

standards, it's not only analyzing primary

sources, but it's analyzing the secondary

sources of what they're seeing.

And so in the gale con in

context databases, they're getting both right,

they're getting access to those great primary documents,

but they're getting access to those secondary

documents that's analyzing all

of that history that's going on behind it.

So again, either search path will

work, we found the same primary document

through both different search paths

um and the supporting information

to go with them. And so again, if

that's sort of my idea is I want

them um to be able

to, to highlight that farewell


let me go back to it.

And so all they would have to do is go back

to that primary document.

And now knowing those themes,

they could go through here and they could highlight

it, they could make a note

um, they could highlight it in different colors.

They could make a note that this is on political parties.

I'm not sure if it is. I, I didn't read

it. I'm not giving you the answers here. Um,

I've read it but I don't know exactly where they are

or, but I could, you know, make

a note there and they could send

it, they could email it to their teacher,

they could send it straight to their Google

Driver one drive and turn it in that way. And

that could be part of that analysis assignment

that goes into that.

So there's a whole lot of different classroom

uh materials that can be found through

these primary documents and, and

being able to do that. And so

I, I highly encourage you to

look through here, look through the ones

that have been premade. Um look

through the ones that um

you know, are teaching in the classroom

and being taught in the classroom of how

great that is. And I, I

will tell you from experience that

sometimes it's really hard to find those

nice primary documents


anywhere else and they are here

uh within the in contact database to be

able to use.

So again, um after this

and, and feel free to, to ask some questions,

but um please feel

free to always be checking our support

ga dot gale dot com support

page. This is where these lesson

plans are housed, but there's also a whole

lot of other things, things like tips sheets, tutorials,

um these recorded webinars, if you would

like to learn more, feel free to look

through our recorded webinars, lesson

plans, projects, scavenger hunts.

Um And as always, if you have

suggestions on some things that we could create

for you, um, feel free to send

those suggestions our way as well.

We do have an upcoming gale in the classroom

webinar next week, it's on inquiry

based learning within gale in context

science. And so switching gears a little bit

from the history classroom to the science classroom

with a former science teacher

and how to analyze that. So if you want to sign up

for that one, again, it's support dot gale dot com

slash training slash webinars.

And so we would love to see

you again on that one.

And then as always, um thank

you for coming. You have a QR

code here for a training survey.

We also get this in the email um

after this along with the recording

from today. Um but

I would always appreciate your feedback

of whether or not you

um are enjoying these webinars

and and how we can make them better for you

because that's what we're here for.

Feel free to also follow us on Instagram

or Twitter or you can always

get in contact with your customer success

manager at Gale dot customer success

at sage dot com. My

email is Cinda dot Wood at

sage dot com and I

would love for you to email if you have any

questions after that.

Um But I will pause here and

answer any questions that you have.

But as always, thank you for joining us today.
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