“Smithsonian Source,” a history education web site from the Smithsonian Institution, offers primary-source materials and tools for using them in social-studies classrooms. The site’s resources are organized into six topic areas: Civil Rights, Colonial America, Invention, Native American History, Transportation, and Westward Expansion. Each section contains lesson plans and document-based questions arranged by grade level. The web site also provides tips for teaching with primary sources, such as how to help students analyze complex subjects, how to help students create graphic organizers to sort information, and how to compare and contrast information. In the Colonial America section, which was featured at press time, users can watch an anthropologist examine skeletons for clues about daily life in Jamestown or find lessons on the Boston Massacre, Pocahontas, the Stamp Act, patriot women, and more. Teachers and students can use questions that are built around primary-source documents to explore the clashing views of revolutionary colonists and loyalist colonists or examine the political, religious, economic, and social reasons for the American Revolution.
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