Analyzing Resources Related to Local Indigenous Groups

Overview: Originally used in the course, Native Americans and their Interpreters (HIST336), this activity is designed as an introductory exercise for students to get a feel for primary source analysis. The librarian projects the document onto a screen using a document camera, and then walks students through the process of analyzing a primary source, asking them to consider the historic context of the document, visual elements, text elements, format, and significance. Students would then put these skills to work on their own, working individually or in small groups with a similar or related document. In actual practice, students were researching images and representations of Black Hawk, the Sauk leader known for the Black Hawk War of 1832. and interrogating the source in a similar manner.

Learning Objectives: Critically interrogate a primary source connected to a marginalized group, including analyzing images, textual content, and format. Learning outcomes included dating photographs and documents, situating sources in a historical context, and examining format.
Course: Native Americans and their Interpreters (HIST336)

Timeframe: 10 minutes for this exercise, 75 minutes for entire class session

Assessment: Students filled out document analysis worksheets prompting them to perform the same analysis of a different resource, which were collected and could be graded according to a rubric.

Downloadable outline of the exercise

Image of the document used for the exercise

Submitted by Samantha Crisp

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