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Adapting Documents. WHAT IS IT? Preparing and modifying primary source documents so that all students can read and analyze them in their history classrooms. Adapting Documents. RATIONALE Often primary sources use complex or antiquated language A challenge even for able readers!

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adapting documents
Adapting Documents

WHAT IS IT?

  • Preparing and modifying primary source documents so that all students can read and analyze them in their history classrooms.
adapting documents1
Adapting Documents

RATIONALE

  • Often primary sources use complex or antiquated language
  • A challenge even for able readers!
  • Adapting a variety of historical documents for use in the classroom will allow students greater access to important reading and thinking opportunities.
adapting documents2
Adapting Documents

METHOD

  • Adapting documents for the classroom may include:
    • Making them shorter, clearer, and more focused
    • Use of excerpts or ellipses
    • Including helpful head notes
    • Giving clear source information
    • Providing a word bank
    • Directing attention with guiding questions
    • Simplifying syntax and vocabulary
structured academic controversy

Structured Academic Controversy:

Was the New Deal a success?

select a document
Select a Document

You are faced with a pile of documents on your table….

…pick one that you will adapt for an 8th grader.

create a head note
Create a Head Note

On your document or separate sheet of paper…

  • Create a head note that includes background information and even a brief reading guide.
  • Perhaps tell students when, where, by whom, and for whom the source was originally created.
  • YOU MAY HAVE TO RESEARCH THIS A BIT!
focus the document
Focus the Document
  • Judicious excerpting with a liberal use of ellipses makes any document more approachable and accessible.
simplify the document
Simplify the Document
  • Cut any confusing or nonessential phrases to make it shorter and easier to follow
  • Replace difficult words with easier synonyms
  • Modify irregular punctuation, capitalization, or spelling
  • Provide a vocabulary legend
  • Create focus questions
other considerations
Other Considerations…
  • Use a large type (up to 16 point font)
  • Provide ample white space on the page
  • Use italics to signal key words
  • Bold challenging words
avoid pitfalls
Avoid Pitfalls
  • Explain that students are working with documents that have been specially prepared for the classroom.
    • Ex. "Some of the language and phrasing in this document have been modified from the original" posted at the bottom of the page may be useful.
  • Adapting documents is simply a tool to help novice historians develop their skills and access content.
for further information
For Further Information
  • http://historicalthinkingmatters.org/
  • http://teachinghistory.org/teaching-materials/teaching-guides/23560