Organizing a rich text set of primary sources requires that students analyze and make sense of several sources on a topic. In this case, they seek to answer a focused guiding question. Students sort through about a dozen images, letters, forms, and political cartoon. In practice, a teacher could offer fewer sources, though it is a valuable sometimes to require students to choose among sources. The primary sources are also give context by a secondary source narrative from the Veterans Administration.
This activity would work best as a culminating activity for a unit because it requires that students bring substantial background knowledge. Assessment of the activity could include a written claim supported by their evidence. It might take the form of a timeline.
A popular follow-on activity is to have students draw a set of cartoon panels to make their case. (Example below.)
Watch the video (6:39 minutes): Putting Primary Sources in Order - Flow Map - Using Civil War Veterans Text Set.
You will need two documents:
- Emerging America - Civil War Veterans Text Set.pdf
- Emerging America - U.S. Veterans Administration history_in_brief.pdf