History 011

Chapter 3 Discussion – Chapter 3: primary sources analysis 6

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Analyzing primary sources or documents from the era we are studying give us a glimpse into the past. In this activity you will engage with the voices of the people who lived through this remarkable period of contact and conquest of the Americas.

The “discovery” of America unleashed horrors. Europeans embarked on a debauching path of death and destructive exploitation that wrought murder and greed and slavery. Disease was only the most terrible in a cross-hemispheric exchange of violence, culture, trade, and peoples—the so-called Columbian Exchange—that followed in Columbus’s wake. (American Yawp (Links to an external site.))

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  1. Each Canvas Group will assigned a Primary Source to analyze.
  2. Each person will write a paragraph (about 50-125 words) that answers this question: What does your primary source reveal about the contact and conquest of the Americas?
  3. Your paragraph is an analysis of your primary source. Therefore your paragraph should  include “SOAP” analysis that explains
    • the speaker or author of the source (S),
    • the occasion when the source was created (O),
    • the original audience (A), and
    • the purpose of the speaker or author (P).


Your paragraphs (about 50-125 words) must be typed and double-spaced.  Start with a  topic sentence. A good Topic Sentence  will start your paragraph by providing a clear answer to the question: What your source reveals about your team’s topic.  Your paragraph should have at least Two specific short quotations or descriptions from the primary source


“My source is X and it reveals Y.”

X = a brief description of your primary source

Y = what your source reveals about your team’s topic

Sample Topic Sentence: “My source is a 1935 Los Angeles Times article, and it reveals how the LA Country Board of Welfare tried to make deportations seem orderly and voluntary.”

Sample Topic Sentence: “My source is a 1963 speech by Fred Shuttlesworth, and it reveals how civil rights leaders used “outside the system” street protest tactics to attract media coverage.”

Group 6:  Alvar  (Links to an external site.)Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca Travels through North   America, 1542 (Links to an external site.)


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