Understanding Perspective in Primary Sources

Students painting
This is an example of a primary source that you can pair with the Understanding Perspective worksheet. It shows an art class at the Phoenix Indian School in Arizona in 1900. The photograph comes from the records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and was taken by a government photographer. Available at https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/art-class-phoenix-indian-school-arizona

Help your students better understand source perspective with a new document analysis tool from the National Archives Education Team: Understanding Perspective in Primary Sources.

Our latest worksheet helps students identify perspective in primary sources and understand how backgrounds, beliefs, and experiences shape point of view.

Document analysis is the first step in working with primary sources. Teach your students to carefully consider primary source documents for contextual understanding and to extract information to make informed judgments.

Make sure to also check out our other worksheets available for primary grades, secondary grades, students learning English, and Spanish-speaking students. They are customized to primary source type, including photographs, written documents, artifacts, posters, maps, cartoons, videos, and sound recordings.

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