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Examining the Evidence: Seven Strategies for Teaching with Primary Sources
Examining the Evidence: Seven Strategies for Teaching with Primary Sources
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Reviewed Titles Award Winners
Capstone Professional

Examining the Evidence: Seven Strategies for Teaching with Primary Sources

Primary sources are the very documents that history is made of, the images that science is based on, the raw material of our lives. This book reveals in detail the strategies you can use to make primary sources come alive for your students and to enhance visual literacy, using fascinating photographs and powerful primary source texts.

Interest LevelGrades K-8
BrandCapstone Professional
Page Dimensions8 1/2" x 11"
Page Count164
School/Library Price



School Library Connection - Mary Alice Anderson, Online Instructor, University of Wisconsin-Stout

"This guide offers approaches to using primary sources effectively to help students attain visual literacy and understanding. Opening chapters discuss relationships between primary sources and the Common Core Standards, types of primary sources, using primary sources in diverse content areas, and give an overview of each strategy. The “strategies” chapters describe methods for deeply examining a source. Chapters considering the teacher’s role in facilitating understanding primary sources and approaches to understanding bias are especially useful." - School Library Connection

September 1, 2015

Nicole C. Miller, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education - Mississippi State University

"With a foreword by Sam Wineburg, this book gained instant credibility. The authors, Austin and Thompson, also share their personal backgrounds which include significant experience using, teaching with, and writing about primary sources. I can gladly recommend this book for teachers in grades K-8. The text is well-organized and accessible. At the end of each chapter the authors provide “Things to Think About” to help the reader extend and deepen their thinking about the given chapter. In some chapters, the authors also provide a “just for fun” section which adds levity and interest." - Nicole C. Miller, Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education

December 11, 2014


School Librarian's Workshop, "Reading for Information" - Hilda K. Weisburg, M.L.S, Editor

"After explaining what constitutes primary and secondary sources found not just in history but in the world around us, the authors go into detail explaining their seven strategies including “Determine the Purpose,” “Look for Bias,” and “Compare a Variety of Sources.” Photos fill the chapters which conclude with “Things to Think About.". . .An invaluable resource for you and teachers on how to incorporate primary sources into your daily teaching." - School Librarian's Workshop, "Reading for Information"

December 1, 2014

Marc Nelson - M.S. in elementary education and classroom teacher

"In their lifeline of a book, Hilary Mac Austin and Kathleen Thompson put forth a methodology for discerning, understanding, and applying primary source materials as part of a comprehensive curriculum in the classroom." - Marc Nelson

May 31, 2014


Sam Wineburg - Professor of Education and History, Stanford University

"The book you are holding demands that we learn to see differently, to weigh possibilities, to question more precisely, to argue for our interpretation, and justify our interpretation cogently and convincingly. Primary sources are means to a higher end—one that applies not only to the social studies, but to every single subject in the curriculum. The book you are holding helps you teach students how to think." - Sam Wineburg

February 17, 2014

The History Teacher, Society for History Education - Greg Ahlquist, Webster Thomas High School (Webster, NY)

"In a time when our emphasis and attention has been focused on reading and close reading of text sources, this book reminds us of the importance of visual sources as a base of evidence and provides tools to mine those sources for all they are worth in the early years of education. . . .In a visual culture where students process images and information so quickly, slowing down the analysis process is a critical step. The authors recognize this importance, noting, “this is where the work is.” . . .While the book is targeted for K-8 teachers and students, all teachers may find this resource helpful, though teachers at every grade level will have to modify and adapt the steps for their classrooms." - The History Teacher, Society for History Education

November 4, 2016


Teacher Librarian, "Resources for Teacher Librarians" - Elizabeth "Betty" Marcoux

"...excellent suggestions for incorporating primary sources into learning experiences. . . .for teacher librarians and classroom teachers who want authentic and motivating experiences growing with young people of various ages." - Teacher Librarian, "Resources for Teacher Librarians"

April 1, 2015


Learning Magazine

2016 Teachers' Choice Award

August 1, 2015

Hilary Mac Austin

Hilary Mac Austin

Hilary Mac Austin has been working in the fields of visual history and educational development for 20 years. She has been the primary photo researcher as well as a writer and editor for a number of publications, including Jewish Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, the second edition of Black Women in America: An Historical Encyclopedia, and the Encyclopedia of African American History, 1896 to the Present. She has served as image lead and project manager of digital assets for a number of educational programs.

Go to the Author’s Page →