The purpose of this activity is to determine
what a primary source is and what a
secondary source is, as well providing
examples of each.
Here is a great introduction to primary and
What is a primary source?
A primary source is a document
written during the time under
study or any physical object
which was created during this
time. Usually these sources were
present during an experience or
time period and offer insight into
a particular event.
Types of Primary Sources
• Original Documents: those capturing exact words
or accounts of people, events, places, or times.
• Creative Works: usually different forms of art,
such as poetry, music, and paintings.
• Relics or Artifacts: these are pieces of physical
evidence that give historians some insight into
• Primary Sources can be classified into more than
one of each category.
Examples of Primary Sources
• Court records
• Propaganda posters
• Newspaper articles
• Just about anything
from the timeframe in
What is a Secondary Source?
A secondary source analyzes, describes, and
tries to make sense of primary sources. These
may have pictures, quotes, or graphics of
Examples of Secondary Sources
• Magazine articles
• Journal articles
• Critical reviews
• Books about a time period or event
• Articles or books that analyze primary sources
• Now after discovering exactly what a primary
source is, read the document that you were
• After reading it complete the questions on the
worksheet and come up with some questions
of your own for class discussion.
– They must be open ended (not yes/no answers)
– Thought provoking