R.M.S. Titanic
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R.M.S. Titanic Historical Article A Fireman’s Story/From a Lifeboat Eyewitness Accounts. Feature Menu. Introducing the Selections Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and Secondary Sources Writing Skills Focus: Preparing for Timed Writing. R.M.S. Titanic Historical Article.

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Introducing the Selections Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and Secondary Sources

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R.M.S. Titanic Historical ArticleA Fireman’s Story/From a LifeboatEyewitness Accounts

Feature Menu

Introducing the Selections

Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and Secondary Sources

Writing Skills Focus: Preparing for Timed Writing


R.M.S. Titanic

Historical Article

What choices doomed so many people to die during the sinking of the Titanic?


R.M.S. TitanicIntroducing the Selection

On April 10, 1912, the largest ship ever built started out on its first voyage to New York.

The Titanic never arrived at its destination.


R.M.S. TitanicIntroducing the Selection

The ship’s builder believed she was unsinkable—a gigantic lifeboat.

What went wrong? Read “R.M.S. Titanic” to learn the truth behind the mammoth ship’s ironic fate.

[End of Section]


R.M.S. Titanic

Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and

Secondary Sources

When you research historical information, you’ll find two categories of materials:

  • primary sources

  • secondary sources


R.M.S. Titanic

Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and

Secondary Sources

A primary sourceis a firsthand account that has not been interpreted or edited by other writers.

  • Examples:

  • letters

  • interviews

  • speeches

  • eyewitness accounts


R.M.S. Titanic

Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and

Secondary Sources

A primary source has the advantage of being a firsthand account of an event.

A Fireman’s Story

by Harry Senior

I was in my bunk when I felt a bump. One

In the eyewitness accounts of “A Fireman’s Story” and “From a Lifeboat,” you learn about the sinking of the Titanic from people who were actually there.


R.M.S. Titanic

Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and

Secondary Sources

The drawback of a primary source is that it includes only one person’s viewpoint.

A primary source may be unreliable, especially if it is highly subjective, or based heavily on emotion or opinion.


R.M.S. Titanic

Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and

Secondary Sources

A secondary sourceis based on other sources. Information is interpreted, summarized, or retold by another writer.

  • Examples:

  • encyclopedias

  • textbooks

  • biographies

  • newspaper and magazine articles


R.M.S. Titanic

Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and

Secondary Sources

A secondary source, such as “R.M.S. Titanic,” often covers the topic more broadly.

Secondary sources are generally more objective, or factual. However, writers sometimes include their opinions and feelings on the topic.

R.M.S. Titanic

by Hanson W. Baldwin


R.M.S. Titanic

Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and

Secondary Sources

As you evaluate a source, decide how much you should believe—and why. Ask yourself:

  • How credible—or believable—is the source? How knowledgeable is the writer about the subject?

  • Does the writer seem to have a bias—a prejudice about the topic?

Watch for words or phrases that give a one-sided view.

Recent dates may be better for secondary sources, but primary sources may be more valuable.

  • When was the text written?


R.M.S. Titanic

Informational Text Focus: Evaluating Primary and

Secondary Sources

Into Action: As you read, record objective and subjective language in a chart like the one below.

Selection

Objective Details

Subjective Details

“Out of the dark she came, a vast, dim, white, monstrous shape”

“R.M.S. Titanic”

“Westbound steamers report bergs, growlers and field ice”

[End of Section]


R.M.S. TitanicWriting Skills Focus

Preparing for Timed Writing

As you read the selections, you may notice differences in the accounts of the Titanic’s sinking.

Record these differences in your notebook.

[End of Section]


Vocabulary


R.M.S. TitanicVocabulary

ascertainv.: determine.

corroboratedv.: supported.

perfunctoryadj.: done with little care or thought; indifferent.

pertinentadj.: having some association with the subject.


R.M.S. TitanicVocabulary

The sentence below may help you understand how the word ascertain is used in “R.M.S. Titanic.”

The dark, frigid night made it difficult to ascertain the damage to the ship.

Why do you think it was so difficult to ascertainwhether the ship was sinking at first?


R.M.S. TitanicVocabulary

The extent of the damage might have been difficult to ascertain because

  • the shock of the impact was so slight, many didn’t know it had occurred

  • the large ship and late-night hours made it difficult to communicate information among the crew


R.M.S. TitanicVocabulary

What might the doctor hope to ascertain from this x-ray?

She might be checking the patient’s lungs for signs of pneumonia.


R.M.S. Titanic

Vocabulary

Read the sentence below to help you understand how the word corroborated is used.

A survey of several sources corroborated the serious nature of the damage.

Professor Guzman corroborated the fact that I had written the research report on my own.


R.M.S. Titanic

Vocabulary

Our veterinarian corroborated the new study’s findings about nutritional supplements for dogs.

Did the veterinarian

fill out important forms?

confirm the study’s information?

contradict the research?


R.M.S. Titanic

Vocabulary

The sentence below may help you understand how the word perfunctory is used in “R.M.S. Titanic.”

The perfunctory nature of the inspections meant that little additional information was acquired.

What actions would you expect in a perfunctory safety drill?


R.M.S. Titanic

Vocabulary

Dragging their flotation devices, sleepy passengers slowly lined up,

which gave the evacuation drill a perfunctory feel.


R.M.S. Titanic

Vocabulary

Which image shows what appears to be a perfunctory activity?


R.M.S. Titanic

Vocabulary

The sentence below may help you understand how the word pertinent is used in “R.M.S. Titanic.”

The investigating committee collected all the pertinent facts related to the tragedy and its aftermath.

Why do you think the investigators collected only the pertinentfacts?


R.M.S. Titanic

Vocabulary

Pertinentis another way to say . . .

applicable

relevant

related

relatable

important

significant


R.M.S. Titanic

Vocabulary

Which equipment looks as though it would be pertinentto sailing?

[End of Section]


The End


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