Archive for March, 2011
Secondary sources are those created after an event by people who do not have firsthand knowledge of the event. An example is a newspaper or magazine article, documentary or book written by people who studied primary sources.
Secondary sources can lead researchers to new primary sources, help them form an opinion of an event or person, and outline a story. These sources can help answer questions about a topic which will help a researcher narrow their focus or expand a story.
Here is a great worksheet on analyzing secondary sources.
Where can you find secondary sources? Newspapers. Magazines. Libraries. Scholarly journals. Keep in mind that not all secondary sources are one step away from a primary source. Some are compilations of other secondary sources.
Hey kids, you know what a primary source is now but where can you find primary sources?
- Your home
- Historical Society
- Libraries – research, university, online, and local
- Archives – regional and national
- Special collections at libraries and archives
What is a special collection? It is a collection of rare manuscripts, books and other materials that are stored in special rooms to preserve the materials in a library or archive. These materials do not circulate. This means they remain on-site and users have to ask permission to view and use the materials.
If you live in the Chicago area, there is a fantastic resource listing of places to find primary sources.
So what are you waiting for? Start looking for some primary sources to add depth to your family’s story!
Today we will talk briefly about primary sources. What is a primary source? A piece of evidence from the past that was created during the event. A diary, letter, photograph, newspaper article, and legal documents are all examples of primary sources. A birth certificate is an example of a primary source, although it may contain some secondary source material. More on secondary sources later.
The Chicago Metro History Education Center has a great worksheet on primary sources for kids to use.
Primary sources can help history come alive and should be “listened to” during the research process. Be wary though because not everything you read is the truth. Sometimes the truth is stretched to make an event more exciting. Various pieces of evidence should be consulted while examining a topic before drawing many conclusions and writing your own piece based on the evidence.
There are a few great worksheets available to help guide you through primary source research. These are from an out of print book called A History Handbook for Student Research Projects by Gerald Danzer. I will have to see if I can locate this book through a used book seller. The worksheets are fantastic!
Check back because I will tell you where to find primary sources.
- New handouts such as Primary vs Secondary sources, and MORE! (sullivanlibrary.wordpress.com)
We have spent a lot of time discussing interviews, finding basic sources and what is in those sources, so now let’s talk more in-depth research.
I was writing an article for an online site about National History Day. This I thought, would be a great topic to break out on my kids blog! What is National History Day? It is one day dedicated in the to the study of history. This day goes beyond teaching about names, events, dates, and places. It requires students to dig down deep and examine a specific topic. Many cities and states participate in contests for high school students to present on a historical topic.
Chicago Metro History Fair. Students from high school compete in a junior and senior level for a chance to compete at the state-wide level. Students choose a project (presentation, website, living history demonstration, or article) based on the current year’s theme. In 2011, the theme is Debate and Diplomacy: Successes, Failures, and Consequences. Prior years’ themes have included Family, Revolution, Communication, Geography, and Rights and Responsibilities.is one of those cities that participates in a
Take a look at Chicago’s Metro History Fair page to see what it is all about. Over the next few weeks we will explore some of the research procedures the students learn that are also the same procedures genealogists and family historians use!
Does your school participate in National History Day? If it does, tell us about it!
Something to Remember Me By A Story about Love & Legacies by Susan V. Bosak with Laurie McGaw is a book about a grandmother going through the early stages of Alzheimers.
The story begins with a little girl baking cookies with her grandmother. As the story progresses, the girl grows up and her grandmother ages. The grandmother promised the little girl her cedar chest when she grew up. The day came when the girl was grown up and married and heard from her grandmother that it was time to come get the chest. Her grandmother was going to move out of her house and into a nursing home.
The girl visits her grandmother and together they sort through the cedar chest. Together they finish cleaning out her house and prepare to move her to the nursing home. The grandmother says she is worried she will forget her granddaughter. The granddaughter gives her a photograph of the two of them together and writes on the back “Something to remember me by.”
The girl visits her grandmother at the end of her life and instead of seeing the woman she remembers, she sees a woman with a blank look on her face. After sitting with her grandmother and telling her how wonderful she is, the grandmother smiles and turns toward her nightstand. Inside is the photograph of the two of them.
Read the book to find out the ending.
When Tyler found out I was interview Luke and then letting Luke interview me, he had to get in on the action. If you missed Tyler’s interview, check out the previous post. Today, he is interviewing good old mom.
Q: What kind of book do you like to read outside when we are biking?
A: I like to read almost anything. Historical fiction, history, genealogy, love stories. Books that grab my attention.
Q: What’s your favorite book out of these cat in the hat books?
A: I like One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish the best.
Q: What kind of food you like best?
A: I like chocolate, pizza, ice cream, salad, and steak.
Q: So which kind of book is coming that you want?
A: I want Deborah Harkness to release the second book in the three book series of A Discovery of Witches. I loved her first book and cannot wait for the second and third.
Q: What is your favorite thing to do?
A: I have a few favorite things. I like to research my family history. I like to travel, especially to warm, sunny beaches. I like to read and see movies and I like to scrapbook.
Q: Why is it that you can’t let Drew watch his TV at daytime?
A: Drew is at school so he can’t watch TV during the day.
Q: What is your favorite number?
I typed the questions as Tyler asked them. If you read Luke’s interview then you will see his questions are very different than the ones Tyler asked me.
Thanks for interviewing me Tyler!
Q: What is your favorite thing to do at home?
A: Throw snowballs. Ty is being a little uncooperative currently. I think his favorite thing is to play on the computer. He is very good with the computer.
Q: How old are you?
A: Five years old.
Q: What is your favorite toy?
A: My hockey gear, my toys outside, and my toys in the sandbox.
Q: What are some things you like to do outside?
A: Ride my bike, play baseball, swing, cook (pretend cooking). “I’m Chef Tyler.”
Q: What is something fun you do with mom?
A: Go to the library.
Q: What are some things you do at school?
A: I play basketball in the gym sometimes. Play when it is time for centers. Play with the toys.
Q: Tell me about your favorite book.
A: I have a lot right now. All Dr. Seuss. Hop on Pop, Cat in the Hat, One Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and Green Eggs and Ham. (I should note today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday March 2, when I am interviewing Tyler.)
Thanks for the interview Tyler. I know he is very anxious to interview me so come back and check out his interview with me in a couple days!
On Tuesday, I interviewed Luke. Then he decided he should interview me. Here is how the interview went.
Q: Who is your favorite music singer?
A: I love the group Rascall Flatts. They are my favorite right now.
Q: What is your favorite sport?
A: I grew up not caring or being interested in sports. But since every boy in this house is all about sports, I would have to say hockey is my favorite sport.
Q: Do you like tennis or basketball?
A: Nope. Don’t like either.
Q: What is your favorite drink?
A: Coffee. I could not live without coffee. Love it! Love it! Love it!
Q: What’s your favorite food but it can’t be any kind of candy like chocolate?
A: Home Run Inn Pizza is my favorite.
Q: What do you like to do in the spring and summer?
A: I like to hang out at the pool during the summer. In the spring I like to get up early, sit outside and drink my coffee and listen to the birds sing. I also like to sit outside and read a book while you play.
Q: What do you like to do down by the cul-de-sac? Read your books and have coffee?
A: I like to sit on the rocks and watch you and Tyler ride your bikes or roller blade.
Q: What is your favorite store that has paper and stuff?
A: Michael’s and the scrapbook store.
Q: Do you like to scrapbook?
A: Yes I enjoy scrapbooking although I mostly do it online now.
Q: Do you really like coffee?
A: YES! I really love it.
Thanks mom! This was fun!
In January I published my first book, To Soar with the Tigers, about my cousin Robert Brouk. Robert was a Flying Tiger in China 1941-July 1942. My twins, Luke and Tyler, have really become interested in Robert and his airplane. The plane of course had the tiger teeth on the front by the nose.
In the course of finishing the book, publicizing it, and putting away the photos and notes I had accumulated, Luke in particular wanted to know more. He asked questions mostly about the plane. Asked for copies of pictures of Robert with his plane to take to school to show his kindergarten class. And, he built his own Flying Tiger plane.
Here is Luke with his plane. Isn’t it nice when kids listen to the stories or information you throw out there? At five years of age I don’t expect him to be tremendously interested but it is nice to know he thinks so highly of Robert and his service.