Sources from the past are the tools of historians. Sources become evidence when students use them to ask and answer questions about the past. By analysing a source a student can discover if it contains relevant evidence for their chosen historical enquiry. A source may contain useful information, but it may not be relevant for the chosen enquiry. Students use a range of sources to develop an answer to an enquiry, and students also learn to contextualise, and to compare and contrast source material. Learning to select and use historical sources to find an answer to an enquiry is a key part of students’ learning that history is made up of interpretations of the past. Students learn the skills of close observation and to ask questions about the nature, provenance, audience and purpose of sources, so that they can put them in context and assess their utility and reliability as evidence for a historical enquiry.
Students use a fictional source and consider its utility by cross-referencing it with other sources
How fictional accounts can nevertheless be useful to the historian
Use of sources (political cartoons) as evidence to draw out commonalities regarding images of the enemy.
Comparing and contrasting political cartoons to evaluate the image of the enemy
Students analyse sources about displaced persons and collect evidence on how people become displaced.
Why do people become displaced?
The core to this is using sources as evidence to answer a historical enquiry question.
Analysing and evaluating the factors that led to the fall of Napoleon using sources as evidence.
Students critically analyse monuments to reach conclusions about varied ways of commemorating an event.
What do we want to preserve? Remembrance and memorials in official narratives
Students analyse source material in order to learn about the role of international law in war.
Why previously enacted laws are broken by the fighting sides in times of war?
Students use sources to learn about the Soviet Union's policies, using the Gulag camp system as an example.
Why was the Gulag system created? To what extent did it meet political interests, to what extent economic interests?
Students use source material to learn about the characters and events of the Munich Conference of 1938.
How different were the public statements from the real motives, hopes and fears of leaders?
Students categorise and analyse sources of propaganda from World War 1.
Using examples from the World War 1 to understand how propaganda works and to learn how to identify it.
Students use contextual knowledge of 1915 to analyse a complex Argentinian political cartoon.
Applying knowledge to evaluate what a political cartoon can reveal about World War 1 in 1915
Students analyse World War 1 posters to assess their effect as propaganda.
Analyzing and understanding the past in the perspective of the present
Students examine a political cartoon and research its historical context in order to answer the enquiry question.
How revealing is a political cartoon of imperialist attitudes before World War 1?
Students categorise and analyse the messages on postcards as sources of what life was like during World War 1.
How far do postcards reveal what happened in World War 1?