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Using and Citing Online Sources
Using and Citing Online Sources
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Using and Citing Online Sources Activity: Chicken or the Egg: Primary and Secondary Sources

Instructions for Your Students

What's Going on Today

Do you prefer reading the book or watching the movie? Do you like to watch real historical footage or re-enactments? Do you prefer to get the info straight from the horse's mouth, or would you rather hear the second-hand gossip? Order matters. It's all about first (primary) and second.

Have you heard your teachers throwing around the words "primary or secondary sources"? If you haven't yet, you soon will – probably in Social Studies class. Primary vs. secondary doesn't just matter for school, though. It's also super important for life things, like understanding the news, voting, and getting health info. Today we're going to cruise through some Web resources to try and find out what's information is original and what is second-hand.

Instructions

When your instructor asks you to go to the websites below, open them in your browser.

Library and Archives Canada. Read the website, then answer the following questions:

  1. Define "primary source" in your own words.
  2. Define "secondary source" in your own words.
  3. What are some examples of primary sources? List at least two primary sources that you have created. 
  4. What are some examples of secondary sources? List at least two secondary sources that you've created. 
  5. What are some places where you can find primary or secondary sources? 
  6. What's the point of primary sources? Why do we use them? 
  7. What's the point of secondary sources? When and why might you use them? 
  8. Who cares? Why does the difference between primary and secondary sources even matter?

Sources on the Holocaust. Check out the links, then fill out the "Primary versus Secondary Sources" handout.

Sources on the Salem Witch Trials. Check out the links, then fill out the "Primary versus Secondary Sources" handout.

Sources on the Titanic. Check out the links, then fill out the "Primary versus Secondary Sources" handout.