Presentation on theme: "Analyzing Multiple Accounts of the Same Event Putting together all the pieces…"— Presentation transcript:
Analyzing Multiple Accounts of the Same Event Putting together all the pieces…
Think of a time when you have been in a situation with a friend and when you talk about it later, your friend has a different summary ( or account) of the situation. Share with the class.
Your version, or account, of the situation may be different than another person’s, because you noticed different things. You have different perspectives. The same thing happens in the news and in history. There are first-hand accounts in informational text, and there are second-hand accounts.
A firsthand account of an event or topic is based on an author’s personal experience. Diaries, autobiographies, and letters are considered to be firsthand accounts. The author’s perspective with regard to the event or topic may be influenced by his or her feelings about it.
A secondhand account of an event or topic is based on an author’s research, rather than personal experience. Encyclopedia entries, biographies, and textbooks are considered to be secondhand accounts. The author’s perspective with regard to the event or topic is usually neutral. The author simply states facts about it.
Take a look at the following accounts. Read each one, and discuss with a partner if it is a firsthand account or a secondhand account. Be ready to share your answers. Be able to cite evidence from the text that supports your answer.
Indentured Servants Early settlers in the American colonies had a lot of land but not enough people to work on it. So, beginning in the decade after the settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607, many men and women came to the colonies to live as indentured servants. In exchange for their passage overseas and room and board, these men and women agreed to work for a period of between four and seven years. Then they would be considered free. Until then, they had to fulfill their contracts by working very hard. Their lives were harsh and restricted. People who tried to run away could be punished by having their contracts extended. If they survived the hard labor, however, indentured servants received freedom packages which sometimes included at least 25 acres of land.
What type of account was it? Secondhand! How do you know? The author of this passage was not an indentured servant and has no personal experience with indentured servitude. Instead, the author uses researched information to tell about indentured servants. The author’s purpose for writing is to inform readers. The author’s perspective with regard to indentured servitude is neutral. The author states facts about both the drawbacks and the potential outcomes of being an indentured servant.
Adapted from a letter by Richard Frethorne, an Indentured Servant: Virginia, 1623 Loving and Kind Father and Mother, There is nothing here to comfort me. Since I left the ship, all I have eaten is watery porridge and peas. There is not enough meat or poultry to be had; I haven’t seen any deer around, and I am working too hard to hunt for fowl. Early until late I work and work, awarded for my labor with yet more porridge. Four men have to share a meager serving of bread, so it’s little wonder that so many have fallen ill. Not only am I hungry, I hardly have any clothing. My cloak was even stolen by a man whom I believe sold it for food. Fortunately, Mr. Jackson in Jamestown is kind to me and has given me some fish, but I am still miserable and hungry. I want nothing more than to go home. I do beg you, good Father, to release me from my great grief. I know you would cry if you saw my pathetic state. Give my love to all my friends and family. The answer to this letter will mean life or death for me; please, Father, send for me as soon as possible. Richard
What type of account was it? Firsthand! How do you know? The author of this letter is a young man named Richard Frethorne. He is telling about his personal experiences of living in Virginia as an indentured servant. The author’s purpose for writing is to persuade his parents to let him come home. The author’s perspective with regard to indentured servitude is negative. His experience as an indentured servant has been very harsh. He is trying to convince his parents to send for him by showing just how harsh it has been.
Adapted from an advertisement in the Virginia Gazette, Parks from November 12, 1736: A white servant boy named John Turner, belonging to Mr. Darby Skinner of Hampton, was sent to Williamsburg and has not returned. It is suspected that he has run away. He had on a blue jacket and trousers and had with him a small bay horse...Whoever will bring the boy and horse to Mr. Darby Skinner shall have a reasonable reward, over and above what the law allows. Credit:Virginia Gazette (Parks), Williamsburg, November 12, 1736.
What type of account was it? Firsthand! How do you know? The author of this newspaper advertisement is a man named Darby Skinner. He is telling about how his servant, John Turner, ran away. The author’s purpose is to persuade anyone who might find John Turner to bring the boy and the horse back to Hampton. The author’s perspective with regard to indentured servitude is unsympathetic. According to Darby Skinner, John Turner belongs to him just as much as the horse does. Skinner feels that Turner owes him a debt, and he is trying to convince others to find Turner by offering a reward.
All three passages are written on the same topic, yet they probably affected you, the reader, in different ways. Discuss with a partner the similarities and differences between the three accounts. Talk about the effectiveness of each. Let’s try a few more.
Lewis and Clark’s Trip In the early 1800s, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took their famous trip through the West. Lewis and Clark crossed the Rockies and reached the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, they made maps and kept records of animals and plants they saw. A Shoshone woman named Sacagawea accompanied Lewis and Clark and their group. She was very helpful in getting the explorers safely through Native American territory and across the mountains. Lewis and Clark saw the Rocky Mountains for the first time, from a distance, on May 26, 1805.
What type of account was it? Secondhand! How do you know?
Passage from Meriwether Lewis’s journal, May 26, 1805 “these points of the Rocky Mountains were covered with snow and the sun shone on it in such manner as to give me the most plain and satisfactory view.” Lewis also noted: “the joy I... felt in the first moments in which I gazed on them.”
What type of account was it? Firsthand! How do you know?
Summary of an original journal entry kept by a member of Lewis and Clark’s group, May 4–28, 1805 “By now Lewis and Clark were growing ever more anxious to catch sight of the Rockies, the mountain barrier they knew they would have to cross. In the last week of May, Lewis saw the mountains for the first time. He was filled with joy, immediately tempered by a realization of the challenge that lay ahead. The captains were eager to reach the Rockies, but progress was slow along the frequently bending river, which was now shallow and filled with jutting rocks.”
What type of account was it? Firsthand! How do you know?
Think of the author’s perspective in each of these accounts. In each account, is the author’s perspective positive, negative, or neutral? Refer to specific lines in the text that support your answer.
Do you think it is important to read firsthand and secondhand accounts when learning about history or news? Why or why not? Give at least three reasons for your answer.