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Historical

Thinking Skills
Matrix

Circle the author


and publication
date

Write a sentence
on the document
explaining your
answer.
Any Bias?

Write a sentence
explaining why or
why not

List relevant
content knowledge
of the time period

Circle or draw
arrows to any
words or pictures
that are most
important

At the bottom,
explain why you
do/do not think it
is reliable

List other sources


you would like to
have to better
answer the question.
Any Contradictions?

Who has
created the
source and
when?
(Sourcing)
Why was the
source created?
(Sourcing)
Would this
source be
typical of the
time? Why or
Why Not?
(Context)
Do you know
any more
details on what
the source is
talking about?
(Context)
Which words or
images are
important
(Close Read)

Do you believe
the message is
reliable? Why
or Why Not?
(Close Read)

What does the


source not tell
us that we
would need to
know?
(Corroboration)

Historical Thinking Question:

Tools for Analyzing Evidence in Social Studies*

Sourcing:
Before analyzing a piece of evidence it is important to remember that sourcing the
text is an important step in understanding the document and its relationship with
the author. Because the texts are interpretations, it is important to understand as
much as possible about the author.

Sourcing Prompts
1.

I know that the author of this text is .

2.

The author probably believes that

3.

Based on the source this is/is not a useful text


because

Contextualization Prompts

Contextualization:
When analyzing a piece of evidence, every effort should be made to understand the
historical, cultural, political, and geographical context in which it was created. The
context in which the document lives provides insight into its creation and message.

1.

This document does not tell whole story because

2.

Because of the context of the document I know that

3.

The author could have been influenced by

Corroboration Prompts

Corroboration:
This requires that the reader make connections between pieces of information
found in multiple texts. By corroborating claims made in a variety of texts, a reader
can determine similarities, contrast conflicting claims, and make determinations
about the reliability of a source or claim.

1.

This source is more reliable because

2.

Another piece of evidence that would have helped


would be

3.

This text contradicts another source because

Close Reading:
Close reading a piece of evidence requires the reader to take a critical look at
identifying the authors claim along with the evidence being presented. Also, the
reader can analyze word choice and structure in order to generate greater
understanding.
*Adapted from Stanford History Education Group: Thinking like A Historian Curriculum

Close Reading Prompts


1.

The most important sentence isbecause

2.

The author chose these words because

3.

Evidence to support the authors claim include

Compiled by: Drew Hammill MSA


Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools
Dreww.hammill@cms.k12.nc.us