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Examining Primary Sources

Series Description

Examining Primary Sources explores commonly studied historical texts by answering important questions about them: Why was it written? What does it mean? What was the impact? Each book examines the primary source—from the context, to the actual words, all the way to the impact—leaving readers with a comprehensive understanding of the document.

Titles and ISBNs










  • Dewey: 973
  • Reading Level: Grades 3–5
  • Interest Level: Grades 3–6
  • Page Count: 32
  • Trim Size: 7″ x 9″
  • Lexile Levels: 790–860L
  • ATOS Levels: 5.7–6.2.
  • Correlation with National Curriculum
    • CCSS RI 4.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8; RI 5.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8


Library Bound Books
Set of 8: $262.40 (List) / $183.60 S/L
Individual Titles: $32.80 (List) / $22.95 S/L

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Latest Reviews

“A dive into US history through the documents that forged or forever changed the nation. First chapters describe the issues that necessitated the creation of the featured document. The following sections examine the provenance of the document, such as who wrote it and when and to whom. Also covered are the content and implications of the work. Content is well organized. Neat columns of text are balanced with complementary archival images, and sidebars offer questions designed to encourage critical thinking. Others contain expository statistics. To emphasize the importance of the Gettysburg Address to the people of the time, the author points out how in 1863 the town of Gettysburg, PA, had 2,000 residents but an estimated 15,000 people attended the dedication where Lincoln spoke. VERDICT With thought-provoking analysis, this series makes the most of primary sources and is a fine choice for most middle school collections.”

School Library Journal, April 2017


Read More

“History differs from facts by addressing the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the past. Using 12 guided questions, these titles in the Examining Primary Sources series introduce historical topics related to primary source documents. In double page spreads, the questions and accompanying answers cover such subjects as the primary source content, influential events, key writers, the intended audience, and the public reaction of the time. Slave Narratives looks 
at the importance of language in slave narratives—particularly in stories about labor, slave auctions, and escape—and why there was a special effort to collect them in the 1930’s. Gettysburg Address describes the events during the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery, in 1863, and how Lincoln’s speech, though only a short portion of that day, became the defining tribute. Indian Removal
 Act explains why white settlers wanted American Indians’ land, the corrupt language of this document and the American Indian resistance and hardships on the journey westward. US Constitution concentrates on the writing, organization, ratification, and flexible nature of this government document. Enhanced with period photos, reproductions, sidebars, and a ‘fact sheet,’ the volumes conclude with the impact and lasting effects of these primary sources today. This series fills in gaps from traditional texts, making it a great early research resource.”

—Booklist, March 2017


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