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Cold War Files: All Units: Activities: Document-Based Questions

Document-Based Questions

Accompanying Materials:
Primary Source Documents (dated & sourced)
Background Essay(s) (historical context)
Graphic Organizer (origin, purpose, value and limitations)
Essay Rubric (generic – evaluating ideas, organization, etc.)

Activities: Document analysis
Focus: Analyzing Primary Source Documents (2 or more)
Technology: Overhead projector
Teacher Role: Modeling, content expert/advisor
Teaching Aides: Graphic Organizer, Peer Editing Comment Sheet

Student Activities:
1) In-class read-aloud: background essay(s)
2) Small group discussion of primary source documents (in-class)
3) Complete graphic organizer (in-class)
4) Write essay (homework) that compares primary source documents
5) Peer editing of essays (Essay Rubric and/or Peer Editing Comment Sheet)

Questions:
1) What is/are the origin (time and place) and purpose (including intended audience, secondary audience, security classification, etc.) of the document(s)?
2) What is/are the document(s) value and limitations to historians who would use the document(s)?
3) To what extent are the documents consistent? Why?
4) To what extent do the documents support the ideological, geopolitical and/or economic policies/perceptions of the state or states that produced them? Why?

Assessment:
Essays comparing primary source documents
Teacher feedback to:
A)Essay writers
B)Peer editors

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