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The Tools for Studying History
Transcript of The Tools for Studying History
Tool # 1: Geography
Geography is the study of the Earth and its people.
Scientists study land, water, and the impact it has on how people live.
Understand our World
Geographers use five themes of geography to describe Earth
1. Location—Where is it?
identifies precise spots, describes places relative to one another
2• Place—What is it like?
describes physical characteristics
describes human characteristics like language, religion, politics
3• Region—How are places similar or different?
compares physical, human characteristics
4• Movement—How do people, goods, ideas move around?
5• Human-Environment Interaction—How do people relate to physical world?
people learn to use and change what the environment offers them
• Weather—temperature and conditions at a particular place and time.
Geography looks at how Environment Affects People
• Climate—weather conditions in a place over long period of time.
- influences where people live, what they wear, what crops they grow.
- impacts type of vegetation, or plant life, in a location.
• Your environment and climate have a big effect on the way you live.
Different Maps for Different Purposes
3. Thematic Maps
• Thematic maps have certain information about a place, region.
- use colors, symbols, lines, dots to show patterns
- title and legend indicate mapʼs theme, information
- can show information such as vegetation, population density
We use different maps to see natural and human-made features and to understand patterns.
1. Political Maps
• Political maps show features that people created.
- cities, territories, provinces; state, county boundaries
2. Physical Maps
• Physical maps show landforms, bodies of water.
- show what Earthʼs surface might look like from space
- use colors to show elevations
• Maps often combine political, physical features
Reading a Map
Nine map features help you read and understand maps
1. Title - tells subject of map, what information is shown
2• Compass rose - shows directions: north, south, east, west
3• Symbols - represent items such as capital cities, natural resources
4• Legend, or key - lists and explains symbols, colors used on map
5• Lines of longitude—measure distances east, west of prime meridian
6• Lines of latitude—measure distances north, south of equator
7• Scale - is used to figure out distance between two locations on map
8• Labels - indicate names of cities, landforms, bodies of water
9• Colors - represent variety of information on map, explained in legend
Tool #2: Maps
Tool #3: Archeology.
Archaeologists Study the Past
Archaeologists are scientists who work to uncover the story of early people.
Archaeologists have found evidence that tells us a great deal about early humans.
Finding Clues to the Past
Archaeologists are scientists who learn about early people. They study traces of early settlements and prehistoric people. They figure out the age and meaning of artifacts.
Artifacts are human-made objects.
Evidence of early people can be found in fossils.
Fossils are the remains of early life preserved in the ground.
Human fossils include pieces of teeth, skulls, other bones.
Archaeologists try to figure out ages of artifacts and fossil remains.
Anthropologists are similar to archaeologists but they study culture.
Culture is the way of life of a group of people.
Anthropologists study the beliefs, common language, and shared ways of doing things that make up the culture of a common group of people.
Historians often ask questions about the past in order
to understand the present.
Historians use a variety of methods to help them answer
questions about what happened in the past.
Historians examine evidence and draw conclusions as
they answer historical questions.
How and Why Historians Study the Past
Why Study History?
• Studying history involves culture, religion, politics, economics.
• Historians seek patterns, explanations, causes and effects.
- they seek insight into human nature and answers to historical questions.
- questions help them compare societies and draw conclusions about the past.
Asking Historical Questions
What questions do Historians ask?
• How have groups, societies interacted? What were the results?
• How have leaders governed societies?
• How have belief systems developed, changed?
• How have societies dealt with differences among their people?
• How have societies tried to protect peopleʼs security?
• How are societies similar and different?
The Historian's Tools
3. Oral History
• Some cultures have no written records
• Oral history—unwritten verbal accounts of events
- stories, customs, songs, histories, traditions
- passed from generation to generation
1. Primary sources—something created by a person who witnessed the event.
Examples are: letters, diaries, eyewitness articles/accounts, videos, speeches, artifacts.
2. Secondary sources—created after event by a person who did not witness it.
- books, paintings, media reports based on primary sources
- appear after event and can provide a more balanced view of an event
Knowledge of the Past Changes
Fact or Fiction?
• Historians use evidence from sources to answer questions
- must sort through evidence and choose important/trustworthy evidence.
• Some information turns out to be false, like the “mummyʼs curse”
- many thought it killed archaeologists entering “King Tutʼs” tomb
- records proved the archaeologists lived to average age of 70 years
Some Historians arrive at different conclusions using the same facts.
For example, the building of Stonehenge around 3000 B.C.
- early theories claimed a temple that was built for priests
- later experts realized was finished before priests lived in the area
- today some historians think builders were sun worshipers
- others think weʼll never know its true purpose
Why do these things matter?
Geography helps us learn more about our neighbors and the ways we affect the world we share.
Political, physical, and thematic maps show us different things about the world and our place in it.
Archeology and Anthropology helps us learn about our common beginnings. This can help us to see how our similarities outweigh our differences.
The answers of historical questions can help people as they respond to today's challenges
Geography aims to