How to Connect the Evidence

Once you have analyzed primary sources, you are ready to connect the evidence to understand the past.

Just like detectives, historians gather as much evidence as they can about what happened. This means they gather as many primary sources as they can. Then, they analyze the evidence. This means they ask a lot of questions about the primary sources. 

Step One: Observe

  • What do you notice first?
  • What do you find interesting?
  • What is the source about?
  • What do you notice that you would like to know more about?

Step Two: Question

  • Who created the source?
  • When and where was it created?
  • What was its purpose?
  • How does it compare to other primary sources from the time?

Step Three: Reflect

  • Who is the source written for?
  • Who created the source?
  • Where was the creator from?
  • Why does this item matter?
  • What was going on in the country and the world when the source was created?

It’s okay if you have a question about the source that you can’t answer immediately. You might need to learn more about the topic to help you find answers to your questions.


Use the Observe-Question-Reflect Worksheet to analyze the historical photos below. Learn more about each photo by reading the information found below the images.

Photograph One
Photograph Two

Photograph One: A girl is standing in front of freshly harvested sugar beets grown in Utah. In one hand she holds a cleaned beet, in the other hand a glass with the amount of granulated sugar one beet yields. Sugar beets were an important cash crop grown in Utah and Idaho. This photo was taken by the Utah Department of Publicity and Industrial Development. The exact date it was created is unknown, but based on the girl’s clothing, we can estimate it was taken during the 1930s.

Photograph Two: The boy in this photograph immigrated from Finland to Carbon County, Utah. He worked in the Castle Gate Mine when he was 9 years old. His job was cleaning up loose coal and animal droppings from the tunnels in the mine. He is wearing a miner’s hat with a lamp, and is holding a pickaxe. This photo was taken around the year 1900.

Great work so far! Pat yourself on the back for learning more about the skills that historians use to understand the past. Click Previous to return to the last page. Return to the History Investigators homepage here.

Keep Exploring!

Return to the History Investigators page here.
Return to the I Love Utah History home page here.