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Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Differentiating between primary and secondary sources

Amber McLellan

on 5 September 2018

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Transcript of Primary vs. Secondary Sources

Primary vs. Secondary Sources
First-hand information is written or produced by a
person who:
lived the experience and is telling you about it.
What are primary sources?
Diaries and journals
Example: Anne Frank was a teenager during World War II. She kept a diary or journal the years before she died in a concentration camp. Her diary was later published as the “Diary of Anne Frank”.

A written account of someone's life written by that person.

Historical documents
Declaration of Independence
(They were drafted and signed)

Public Records
Government records
Birth Certificates
Court documents
Tax records
Sound Recordings and interviews
Example 1: During the Great Depression and World War II, television had not been invented yet. The people would often sit around the radio to listen to President Roosevelt’s war messages. Those radio addresses are considered “primary sources.”
Example 2: During the 2008 election Barack Obama, had many interviews that were televised. Those interviews are considered primary sources.
Primary Sources
Paintings, drawings, sculpture

What's the Source?
Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address”
Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream”
All of the President’s Inauguration Speeches.
Photographs and videos
taken or filmed during an event
Example: Soldiers during wars wrote to their families about war events they experienced. Those letters are considered primary sources.
Songs and Poems
Charts, graphs, and images can also be

History Books
A biography is a story written about someone by another person.

Why would Dr. Martin Luther King's Biography be a secondary source?
Books, magazines, newspapers can be primary sources. Other times they are secondary sources.

Let’s Practice!
Classify these: primary or secondary?
Classify these:
Classify these:
Have You Got It?
1. On the left side of your notebook, define and give an example of a primary source. Use the sentence frame below:

Sentence Frame: A primary source is ___________________. One example of a primary source is ________________________ because ....

2. Next, define and give an example of a secondary source. Use the sentence frame below:

Sentence Frame: A secondary source is ___________________. One example of a secondary source is ________________________ because ....

second-hand information
that comes from someone who researches and then writes about another person's first hand experience with a personal slant or opinion.
(written after an event--at a later date.)
What is a Secondary Source?
All of these are
primary sources too!
More primary sources
Secondary Sources
are secondary sources too!
Uh-oh! Sometimes certain types of
sources can be primary or secondary.
How can you tell the difference?
You have to read, view, and think about the source.
If it was created during the time period the event happened and created by someone there, it is probably a primary source.

If it was created after the time period of the event, it is probably a secondary source
Primary: Written September 12, 2001
Secondary: Written September 11, 2012
It is a short
biography about
Jay Leno
It is a history
book of information collected on medicine
It is a painting called
The Mona Lisa
Primary: It is a journal.
These are artifacts from a World War II soldier
This is a graph of immigration data which used data from 1821 to 2000. It was not created at these time periods.
Secondary: These are textbooks.
Primary: This is a sculpture.
Primary: These are artifacts.
Primary: This is a newspaper article written at the time period of the event.
Learning Target: I can identify the differences between primary and secondary sources. I can explain why evaluating and selecting reliable sources strengthens my knowledge of a historical topic.
Look at each of the following slides.
With a partner, discuss whether each picture is a primary or secondary source. Explain to your partner WHY you think you answer is correct.
I.N. PAGE 28 (under your sources warm-up)

1. Think about your work on the Protestant Reformation Project.
2. Record your answers to the following self-evaluation questions (yes/no):

1 - Did I record the 3 sources I used on my Project sheet?
2 - Did I identify whether each source was primary or secondary?
3 - Did I complete my Cornell Notes to the best of my ability?
4 - Does my bubble map have my topic in the middle bubble?
5 - Does my bubble map include information on all of my key points?
6 - Does my bubble map have two detailed visuals on my topic?
7 - Does my bubble map use details and color to creatively present
information on my topic?

3. Make revisions to your project sheet so that you are able
to answer "YES" to all 7 questions.
4. Study I.N. notes.
Gallery Walk
Exit Ticket
I.N. Page #30

: Think about your prior knowledge of the topic you researched before we began our study on the Protestant Reformation.

1. How can selecting reliable sources impact your understanding of historical events such as the Protestant Reformation?

2. What is one new thing you learned about
the Protestant Reformation
from this project?
Topic 1
Topic 2
Topic 3
On Socrative or a sticky note, share your answer to question #2, "What is one new thing you learned about the Protestant Reformation from this project?"
At each station you will have a few minutes to silently record as much new information about each topic as possible on your Frayer map. Make sure your notes are accurate.
How can we keep our classroom both physically and emotionally safe during a gallery walk?
Warm Up: Self Evaluation
You have 5 minutes to meet with your partner and finish your project.
Give one get one.
Table Discussion:

How has the Protestant Reformation had an impact on modern society and your life?
Reform Rugby
Reform means to change. Think about how you would reform Rugby.

Record as many ways as you can think of that might reform Rugby.
Full transcript