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Ch 8: Evaluating Sources: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8

About This Chapter

Have your high school English students complete these lessons to build upon classroom studies on evaluating facts presented in historical literature. Use the activities examples to help incorporate this content in your classroom.

Standard: Evaluate an author's premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.8)

About This Chapter

As you work through the content of these lessons with your students they will gain greater understanding of the tools they can use to evaluate source information. These tools help students not only in the achievement of the related Common Core State Standard above, but also with building competence in evaluating information they encounter in daily life. Discussions in this chapter include:

  • Finding the key points in a source
  • Evaluating sources using reverse outlining
  • Determining the information and research needed to refute a claim

You will be able to gauge student mastery of these skills as they demonstrate increased critical awareness while reading historical texts. They should also be able to use context and other sources to either support or challenge a particular idea in the reading material.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

Incorporating these video lessons into your classroom instruction is incredibly easy. Here are some ideas to help you along.

Investigative Trivia

As with regular trivia, develop a list of questions about historical events and people. In a twist on the traditional trivia game, require your students to present proof of their answer, along with a brief explanation of how they know the source to be accurate. Use multiple source materials so they must apply their research skills beyond a single textbook.

That's Baloney!

In this activity pair students off and have one student in the pair think of a fact they hold to be true: it may be something they were told by elders, something they saw on the news, or something entirely made up. The second student, decides whether the claim is true or false and comes up with a research strategy to refute or support the claim. You may or may not have students actually conduct research depending on time available.

What's in the news?

Have your students watch one news segment (TV or internet-based video) and read one news article (print or digital). To encourage and develop critical thinking, the story should not be entirely straightforward: opinion and investigative pieces are best for this activity. After watching/reading the news story, they will write out a synopsis of the news content and describe the principle claims of the newscaster or author.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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