How I Use It
Primary sources are an underutilized resource by students. I would use this to introduce my middle school students to evaluation of artifacts as primary sources. Learning to answer DBQ’s and interpret documents and other primary sources is an important skill. It is a difficult task to look at a document or physical piece and evaluate it in the context and perspective in which is was created. This website will give students a good starting place to look at a piece, read background information about it, where it was created and the historical time period. This website would be a valuable resource for research projects, DBQ’s, and art class to name just a few examples.
This a step above the use of basic photographs of primary sources. This website can add insight to a student's understanding of a culture or historical time period. I love that there is background information included with the pieces, so students do not have to do additional searching to find information that may be relevant to the way they look at the piece and how it fits into the historical perspective. Being able to look at something in it’s 3 dimensional state also adds to the experience that a flat piece of paper just can’t give I also love that it is from the Smithsonian Museum and there is little worry about authority and reliability of the website. As a librarian I will definately be recommending this site to a variety of my teachers of all different subjects.