In this lesson, students learn about the skills and methods that historians use in order to help them prepare their own research for their History Experience project. In this PowerPoint driven lesson, students participate in a focus discussion to review primary and secondary sources. Then, students learn about the practice of historical research using the example of Walter Lord's research into the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. Next, in a small-group activity, students examine a source related to the Titanic, determining what it is, why it was created, what information it provides, and what other sources might be helpful in expanding that information. Finally, students present their source in a gallery-walk activity that simulates a historical museum.
Students will be able to:
California's Common Core State Standards
Preparation and Materials
PowerPoint Teacher Guide — PDF File.
PowerPoint: Historical Research — Download PowerPoint.
Handout 4A: What is This? — 1 per student.
Handout 4B: Titanic Sources — 1 for each group member. Each group will be about one-seventh of the class in size.
Supplies: Poster boards, markers, and other art materials.
A. Focus Discussion
B. Background Information on Historic Research
C. Small-Group Activity: What Is This?
D. Gallery Walk: The Titanic Museum
History Experience Planner
This lesson provides students methods for historical research, including where to locate sources. This will help students organize and plan research strategies for their projects. In addition, students recognize that interpretations of history are subject to change as more information is analyzed.
Have students review pages 10-13. Assign students Log 4: Research Question and have them create a research plan on page 12 for their project as homework.