Document Detective

Grade Range: K-4
Resource Type(s): Lessons & Activities, Worksheets, Lessons & Activities, Worksheets, Primary Sources
Date Posted: 6/10/2008

Historians gather information about the past by looking at primary sources. In this activity, students will practice using primary sources by to learn about slavery and the Underground Railroad by analyzing newspaper advertisements regarding runaway slaves from the Charleston Mercury. It is included in an OurStory module entitled Slave Life and the Underground Railroad. OurStory is a series of modules designed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History to help children and adults enjoy exploring history together through the use of objects from the Museum's vast collections, quality children's literature, and engaging hands-on activities. Ideal for afterschool use, OurStory resources allow students to think critically, to be creative, and to achieve academic standards both in and out of the classroom.


National Standards

Historical Thinking Standards (Grades K-4)

Standards in History (Grades K-4)

United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)

World History Standards (Grades 5-12)

Common Core State Standards (Grades K-12)

CCR Anchor Standards for Writing

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 (Text Types and Purposes): Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 (Text Types and Purposes): Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 (Text Types and Purposes): Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 (Production and Distribution of Writing): Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 (Production and Distribution of Writing): Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 (Production and Distribution of Writing): Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 (Research to Build and Present Knowledge): Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 (Range of Writing): Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
 

Common Core State Standards (Grades 9-10)

Literacy in History/Social Studies (Grades 9-10)

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.1 (Key Ideas and Details): Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.2 (Key Ideas and Details): Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.3 (Key Ideas and Details): Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.4 (Craft and Structure): Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.5 (Craft and Structure): Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.6 (Craft and Structure): Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.7 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.8 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author's claims.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.9 (Integration of Knowledge and Ideas): Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
 
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.9-10.10 (Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity)