Use the sample questions to help you analyze your primary sources. You may go back and forth between the questions as you study each source. Ask questions of your own as well.
What do you notice first?
Find something small but interesting.
What do you notice that you didn’t expect?
What do you notice that you can’t explain?
What do you notice that you didn’t notice earlier?
What words or ideas does this item express?
What questions do you have about what you see?
Who created this?
When and where was it created?
Why was it created?
What was its purpose/goal?
Is its message similar or different from other primary sources from that time and place?
What does this source make you wonder about?
What does this item tell you about that time and place?
Who was the audience for this item?
What was the creator’s message?
What was the creator’s point of view?
Why does this item matter?
What else was happening when this was made?
Adapted from: Library of Congress, Teacher’s Guide: Analyzing Primary Sources