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Doing Research For Lesson Plan Development South Carolina Department of Archives and History Joel Walker: Presenter.

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Presentation on theme: "Doing Research For Lesson Plan Development South Carolina Department of Archives and History Joel Walker: Presenter."— Presentation transcript:

1 Doing Research For Lesson Plan Development South Carolina Department of Archives and History Joel Walker: Presenter

2 The Historical Method 1.Choose a research topic 2.Do preliminary research with secondary sources on the topic 3.Develop a research question or a working thesis 4.Do primary and (even more) secondary research until question is answered or thesis is supported 5.Develop paper, book, presentation or lesson plan

3 The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Sources Primary Sources: Sources from the time and event in question First-hand accounts Letters, photographs, news- paper articles (from the time), first-hand interviews, etc. These sources need context so, as a rule, do not “start” with primary sources Primary sources “prove” your argument, your thesis statement Secondary Sources: Sources created by historians (and others) using primary sources Second-hand accounts Histories, biographies, historical articles/papers, etc. These are the sources you start with: They explain context and help you get the big picture They help you form your argument, your thesis

4 Choosing a Lesson Topic: Reasons for Choosing a Specific Topic My students in past years did not comprehend this topic and test scores were low. The understanding of this topic is developmental to my students. My understanding of this topic is weak and as I strengthen my understanding, I may strengthen my students’ understanding. I really like this topic and my enthusiasm may be contagious!

5 Narrowing or Broadening a Topic General to Specific –Native Americans Summarize the culture, political systems, and daily life of the Native Americans of the Eastern Woodlands, including their methods of hunting and farming, their use of natural resources and geographic features, and their relationships with other nations. –There were Eastern Woodland cultures in the Northeast and Great Lakes area – still too broad 8-1.2Categorize events according to the ways they improved or worsened relations between Native Americans and European settlers, including alliances and land agreements between the English and the Catawba, Cherokee, and Yemassee; deerskin trading; the Yemassee War; and the Cherokee War. –Catawba and Cherokee a little more specific but Yemassee is actually too vague –Culture, political systems, and daily life of Cherokee or Catawba

6 Narrowing or Broadening a Topic Specific to General –Be careful about picking obscure topics for lesson plans for example-a specific colonial governor –Students may have a difficult time in placing the proper amount of significance on the topic –Always tie a specific topic back to the big picture

7 Preliminary Research Purpose: To familiarize yourself with the topic and to develop the context and setting of your topic Example: What does the phrase “All men are created equal” mean today? What did the phrase mean in The 1776 meaning is an example of historical context.

8 Preliminary Research: Key Words Although you may not know a lot about your topic at this time, make a list of all words, names, and phrases that you do know about your topic And as you do research and you learn more about your topic, continue to add to your list of key words, names, and phrases Purpose of Key Words: a) familiarizes you with overall topic and b) helps develop research directions (index searches, Google searches, etc.)

9 Preliminary Research: Making a List of Sources Check the Shelves –Libraries, archives, book stores Do an Internet Search –Google –Libraries (USC, SC State, County Libraries) –Data Bases: Discus –Abebooks, Amazon Look at encyclopedias –The more specific the better

10 Preliminary Research: Making a List of Sources Look for both primary and secondary sources But concentrate on FINDING secondary sources first –Don’t read/use secondary sources found on the web unless they are from a reliable, respected source at this time in your research (.gov and.org are usually reliable)

11 Keep Citations as You Go MLA and Turabian (Chicago Style) are acceptable Arranged by –Primary or Secondary –Alphabetical by author Author, Title, City, Company, Date MLA is double-spaced with annotation starting at end of citation line. Indent all but first line. Turabian (Chicago Style) is single-spaced with separate line for annotation. First line of citation is not indented but first line of annotation is.

12 Keep a Working Bibliography Cite sources you plan to find and look at –Separate them by primary and secondary source as you go Annotate them at this stage, too. –Where I might find the source –What might I expect to find in the source When you find the source and read/analyze it, change the annotation to what you found or how you used the source Let’s do some sample citations

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14 Preliminary Research Read at least one thorough secondary source completely –The best book on the topic Skim and scan other secondary sources

15 Developing a Research Question and/or Working Thesis Purpose: The research question is what you want to find out about your topic and the thesis is the significant aspect of your topic that you want to prove through your research. As an educator, this translates into what you want your students to learn from the lesson (the objective).

16 Ideas on Developing a Research- Based Question and Lesson Plan Objective Focus on a specific SS standard –8-1.2Categorize events according to the ways they improved or worsened relations between Native Americans and European settlers, including alliances and land agreements between the English and the Catawba, Cherokee, and Yemassee; deerskin trading; the Yemassee War; and the Cherokee War. (H, P, E) Categorize events according to the ways they improved or worsened relations between Native Americans and European settlers, including the Yemassee War

17 Ideas on Developing a Research- Based Question and Lesson Plan Objective Think about the level of attainment you want from your students (Bloom’s Taxonomy) –Do you want students to: Analyze –compare, contrast, question Evaluate – argue, defend, support Create – construct, formulate

18 Ideas on Developing a Research- Based Question and Lesson Plan Objective What intellectual foundational structure is present in this topic? –For example, what is so important about knowing about Gullah or the Stono Rebellion?

19 The Research Question How did the Yemassee War improve or worsen relations between Native Americans and European Settlers? Did the Yemassee War worsen relations between the Yemassee and the European Settlers yet improve relations with other Native tribes? (Analyze – Compare and Contrast) What does the development of the Gullah Culture say about the African culture’s ability to adapt, survive, and endure under the hardships of slavery?

20 Developing Your Topic’s Story Outline From your preliminary/secondary research, explain the following: What were things like BEFORE your topic started to occur? (the background or context of your topic) Develop an outline of your topic –Stories have 3 parts: Beginning, Middle, and End –It should be organized in a way that will help support your thesis, answer your research question, or help your students attain the educational objective.

21 Story Outline Chart Outline Description BackgroundBeginningMiddleEnd Strongest Primary Sources (if you want one per section)

22 Doing primary research to answer the question and support the educational objective Plan a visit to primary source repository –Archives, Historical Society, possibly a Library –Have an idea what you are looking for when you go to an Archives – You’ve made a list during your preliminary research Or use a respectable primary source website –Most dot coms (.com) have an agenda –.gov,.edu, and.org are more reliable as a rule

23 Doing primary research to answer the question and support the educational objective Do not assume that a source is truthful or trustworthy because it appears in print or is on the internet Sources may be based on incorrect or outdated information, poor logic, or author may be biased or have limited knowledge Even primary sources may not be truthful or trustworthy

24 Looking at Sources –Always ask “how does this source Help answer the research question or support the attainment of the educational objective?” Help me tell my story outline?”

25 Engaging the Source(s) Take time to read engaging sources twice –First, skim the source quickly without an overly critical eye to understand the “breath” of the source If you are too quickly critical of a source, you may misunderstand it, under-estimate it or exaggerate its weakness. –Second time, read in depth to engage and evaluate the source –In the beginning stages of your research, you will likely not know your topic to be overly critical of certain sources, but in time you will get very good at it.


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