Critical Thinking using Primary Sources in World History

This item is consumable. Either reproduce or purchase one per student.

This resource (grade level 10-12) takes evaluation of primary source documents to a new level by providing historical background information about the person and the time period being studied, critical-reading questions to guide the reading of the documents, and multiple documents about a singular event or person for students to compare.

Use primary and secondary source material to explore the lives and times of such notables as Roman Emperor Octavian Augustus and the Formation of the Roman Empire, Eleanor of Aquitaine and the Angevin Empire, Martin Luther and the Suppression of the Peasant Revolt, Oliver Cromwell and the English Civil War, Peter the Great and the Westernization of Russia, John Newton and the Transatlantic Slave Trade, Maximilien Robespierre and “The Republic of Virtue”, Robert Peel and the Corn Laws, Sylvia Pankhurst: Advocate or Subversive?, Boxer Rebellion and the Westernization of China, and Francisco (Pancho) Villa: Outlaw or Revolutionary?

After reading and analyzing the provided documents (and using what they know about the person and event from other history readings), students must then take a stand about a “charge” leveled against the person in history and defend that stance using excerpts from the primary source documents to support their stance. This process develops critical thinking and opinion-based writing skills, and prepares students for document-based assessment.

You can view a sample of this book here.