The Challenge: ◦ Primary sources create student interest and provoke student questions. ◦ Primary sources come in many shapes and sizes…readings, maps, journals, photographs, political cartoons… ◦ The ability to comprehend and analyze primary sources is integral to student success in Advanced Placement courses.
Providing students with a list of prompts they can ask of any primary source is an effective method of promoting primary source analysis. They encourage the student to consider both the primary source’s message and context. Application of these prompts to a variety of primary sources enables the student to establish a pattern for reading and analyzing primary sources.
The acronym APPARTS provides prompts that assist students in gaining a fuller understanding of primary sources. Frequent practice in the use of APPARTS increases its effectiveness.
A uthor P lace and Time P rior Knowledge A udience R eason T he Main Idea S ignificance
The “Author”, “Place and Time”, “Audience”, and “Reason” prompts encourage the student to consider the usefulness of the document as a piece of evidence. The “Prior Knowledge” and “The Main Idea” prompts encourage the student to focus on the message of the primary source. The “Significance” prompt encourages students to ask, “After all this analysis, how useful is the primary source as evidence in the argument I am trying to construct?”
Author ◦ Who created the source? ◦ What do you know about the author? ◦ What is the author’s point of view? Place and time ◦ Where and when was the source produced? How might this affect the meaning of the source? Prior Knowledge ◦ Beyond information about the author and the context of its creation, what do you know that would help you further understand the primary source? For example, do you recognize any symbols and recall what they represent? Audience ◦ For whom was the source created and how might this affect the reliability of the source? Reason ◦ Why was the source produced at the time it was produced? The main idea ◦ What point is the source trying to convey? Significance ◦ Why is his source important? Ask yourself, “So what?” in relation to the question asked.
“Looking Backward”: Source –Puck Magazine, January 11, 1893; Joseph Keppler Activity Activity
Author. Joseph Keppler was an immigrant from Vienna who adamantly opposed immigration restrictions Place and time. The cartoon appeared in Puck, a British publication in Prior knowledge. During the 1890s, immigration to the U.S. from southern and Eastern Europe increased dramatically. The Panic of 1893 worsened economic conditions in America, increasing political pressure for immigration restriction. The clothing of the characters indicates both their past poverty and their present wealth. Audience. The audience is the British and American public, particularly the upper-middle class readers of Puck magazine. Reason. The cartoon was created to generate opposition to immigration restrictions by encouraging the upper-middle class audience to remember that they too were once immigrants. The main idea. Former immigrants, who have benefited from the American dream, are hypocritical when they deny this opportunity to new immigrants. Significance. Waves of poor “new” immigrants created tension in American society over immigration restrictions. llhammon – 2012