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Historical Evidence

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Rhiannon Campbell

on 7 September 2018

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Transcript of Historical Evidence

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.
PLUS - you'll be using these 5 concepts to create your first assignment in History and English class this semester (
more on this later
) - so let's explore!

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
People at the time thought it was important
It affected a lot of people
It affected people deeply
It affected people for a long time
It still affects attitudes or beliefs today
It led to other important events
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:
Sandy Hook school shootings
invention of the internet
Kate and William give birth to the future King of England
USA elects Obama president
Boston Marathon bombings
Kim births baby North West
invention of Facebook
Osama bin Laden is killed
Miley Cyrus twerking on MTV
Gay marriage becomes legal in Canada
PEI's confederation bridge is built
What makes something
important in history?
Mayor Ford smokes crack
Birth of rock n' roll
Reality TV is created
Canada becomes officially multicultural
opening of Frank J. Hayden S.S.
MLK's "I have a dream" speech
Terry Fox runs to end cancer
all Canadian women get the right to vote
NASA lands on Mars
BP oil spill
Hurricane Katrina
invention of the telephone
Japanese Fukushima nuclear disaster
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!)
Is this historical evidence too?
Why is this historical evidence?
How does it work as evidence?
What does it show us or help us understand?
Is this historical evidence?
If that's true... then is this also historical evidence?
... could 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!
While 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? Chat about each with your group.
What are some of the ways that we learn about or study history? (How do we know what we know???)
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

a) In your groups, examine the evidence. Decide what sources are PRIMARY, and which are SECONDARY
b) Consider the source issues (reliability, accuracy, etc.)
c) Make a decision - based on the evidence... was a Canadian soldier really crucified in WW1?
d) Complete your chart as you go!
The Conclusion?
Canada's Golgotha was a small bas-relief sculpture made by Derwent Wood, a British artist, in early 1919 (after the end of WW1). It was 32 inches high and 25 inches wide (80cm x 60cm). It depicts a Canadian crucified to a wall, being mocked by German soldiers. When it first appeared, the German government demanded either an apology or proof of the act.

So did it really happen?
Primary? Secondary? something else...?
Quickly write down EVERYTHING you have done in the last 24 hours
Put a check mark beside any item that has left a "trace"
Mark if the traces were accidental (A) or purposeful (P)
How many traces will be preserved? Circle these.
Take 5!
How well do these
traces represent your
self, and your life?
What do they say
about you?
During World War 1, reports began to surface that a soldier (usually reported as Canadian) had been horrifically crucified by German soldiers.
But... were the reports true???
The Mystery...
Full transcript