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Historical Significance

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Rhiannon Campbell

on 4 September 2018

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Transcript of Historical Significance

Historical Thinking
The Big 5 Concepts
Big 5
Historical Thinking

We'll be using these concepts throughout each unit of the course to analyze and interpret history and develop our own historical understanding.

Historical Evidence
Historical Significance
WHY do people study history?
Our Big 5 Historical Thinking
Concepts - an overview
1. SIGNIFICANCE – explaining why something is important
2. EVIDENCE - how we know what we know
3. CONTINUITY AND CHANGE - understanding that certain things (attitudes, processes, actions) change over time and certain things remain the same
4. PERSPECTIVE – identifying events from the viewpoint of people who lived through the times
5. CAUSE AND CONSEQUENCE – understanding the relationship between events and their results
Events, people or developments have historical significance if they resulted in change - that is, if they had deep consequences, for many people, over a long
period of time.
Ways to tell if something is significant
Did people at the time think it was important?
Did it effect a lot of people?
Does it still affect people, attitudes or beliefs today?
Did it lead to other important events?
Does it reveal other emerging issues?
Grab a partner
Grab paper and a pen, your laptop, or your phone...
RANK the following events in order from MOST to LEAST significant
Remember to think about
historical affects
as well as your
own opinion
Time to test out your ability to judge
Historical Significance!
RANK the following:
Invention of the internet
Donald Trump becomes President
Kiki/In My Feelings challenge erupts
Stoneman Douglas mass shooting
Stormi Webster (Jenner) is born
Thailand cave rescue
Justin Trudeau attends Toronto PRIDE
Gay marriage becomes legal in Canada
Sinking of the Titanic
Moon landing
What makes something
important in history?
Colin Kaepernick takes a knee
opening of Frank J. Hayden S.S.
MLK's "I have a dream" speech
iPhone X is released
Canadian women get the right to vote
Justin Bieber gets engaged
Doug Ford repeals the new sex-ed curriculum
Me Too movement sweep U.S.A.
Demi Lovato overdoses
WHAT is history?
HOW do they do it?
The key to studying history?
Develop your ability to
the right questions
and know how to
the answers!
Events don't change, but our understanding
and interpretation of them does.
Next, form a group of 4 with a pair from another table group!
Discuss your rankings, come to a consensus and record your final ranking on chart paper
Be prepared to present your final list AND justify your top choices!
Extend your thinking...
Come up with 8 significant events/moments from your/ your family's history
Try to rank them based on their significance!
(Hint: This will help you with your first history assignment!)
...what about this?
Is this historically significant?
Is this historical evidence?
Why is this historical evidence?
How does it work as evidence?
What does it show us or help us understand?
Is this historical evidence too?
If that's true... then is this also historical evidence?
a stretch, yes... but could even this video
work as historical evidence?
how we know what we know about the past; what we can examine and analyze in order to answer historical questions; how we put together our own historical understanding.
In your group, read the 2 sources you have been given and record your answers to the following:
How are the accounts different? How are they similar?
Which source do you like better? Why?
What are the PROS and CONS for each source?
Which source is better for studying and understanding history? Why?
be prepared to share your responses!
2 types of sources!
Truthfully, both sources are useful - each has its pros and cons that need to be carefully noted and examined.
so then... what makes a GOOD historical source?
in your groups, think about what kind of PROBLEMS could arise with any historical source?
Issues with sources
2 Types of Sources
Primary Sources
created at time of the event/subject being studied OR
by people who were original observers of/participants in the event/topic.
source is original and direct
... examples?
Secondary Sources
interprets and analyzes primary sources.
one or more steps removed from the original event
might contain primary sources
usually express an opinion
... examples?

Could be
: letters, diaries,
journals, newspapers, film
footage, speeches, poems,
artwork, clothing, furniture,
buildings, music, novels, etc.
though is not
what it is, but
it was made!!!


Could be
: Textbooks, magazine articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries, encyclopedias, recreations, interpretations, etc.
But remember!
it was
made is still the

written in 2013 about your great-grandfather's experience in WW1 is a secondary source!
so then, if historical evidence is basically like playing the game telephone...
how do we TRUST a source?

Strategies to find historical evidence in historical sources:
Make connections to other sources (compare! contrast! what is true?)
You have them... which
is which?
Make observations (what is this? what kind of source is it?)
Ask questions (who made this? when? why? how? where?)
Make inferences
Contextualize (keep the time period in mind)
Develop questions for further inquiry
For example... what are the potential problems with each source?
When we talked yesterday - what are some of the ways we agreed
we could learn about or study history?
So, while both
sources have
issues, historians favor using
because they are direct and original. They are the
closest to the actual event that you can study!
Let's put your knowledge of
sources to the test!
The Mystery of the Crucified Soldier
Canada's Golgotha
So did it really happen?

a) In your groups, examine the evidence. Decide what sources are PRIMARY, and which are SECONDARY

b) Consider the source's issues (reliability, accuracy, etc.)

c) Make a decision - based on the evidence... was a Canadian soldier really crucified in WW1?
The Conclusion?
While there is still much debate on the issue,
historians tend to agree that the story of the
crucified Canadian soldier is purely fiction,
created to enrage the public, dehumanize the
Germans, and bring support to the war effort
Ask some of the following questions...

Does it reveal other emerging issues?
Did people at the time
think it was important?
Did it effect a lot of people?
Does it still affect people, attitudes or beliefs today?
Did it lead to other important events?
Did people at the time
think it was important?
Did it effect a lot of people?
Does it still affect people, attitudes
or beliefs today?
Did it lead to other important
Does it reveal other
emerging issues?
Full transcript