I have been working through an online course lately that focuses on the use of Primary Sources in the classroom. After looking at a variety of primary sources for this class myself, I was inspired to open that up to my students as well. I know how valuable a primary source can be to children. They loved to look at, feel, and study "old" things. They want to know where it came from, who it belonged to, what it was used for, and how I got it. My class this year has been especially curious about the primary sources we have studied so far. They have even asked for copies of them to take home so they can look it it more closely. Some of the items I have used so far are a list of colonists aboard the Susan Constant, a map of Virginia drawn by John Smith, and directions given to the first colonists in Jamestown. In order to fit this into my already CRAZY packed-full schedule.
The result.... a center for studying the objects. I keep my centers or stations in lime green tubs that were purchased form the Dollar Tree. Inside, I have the primary source (this week is a quill pen, wax, and seal.)
Some other primary source choices are picture cards:
Documents from history (I purchased mine at places like Mount Vernon, Williamsburg, Deer Field.)
Books from history (purchased from the same places).
Money from the past (also purchased from Williamsburg.)
Here is my printable center I created with the analysis sheet and "I Can" list for the center.
I have the complete center available in printable form on Teachers pay Teachers.
Some other primary source ideas are:
Newspapers from a past date
I also have a primary versus secondary sources cheat sheet freebie for you and your students!