My Family Origins Through Primary Sources
All historical research relies on an analysis of primary sources for developing understanding. In this unit we will discuss the difference between primary and secondary sources and the importance of these sources for historical research.
The following questions can be discussed before and after the research and analysis of primary sources, to reflect on what students gain from the process:
· What interesting information did you learn about your country?
· How did the history of the country impact your family’s personal history?
· What special foods or customs derive from your family’s country of origin?
· How is your Jewish practice influenced by your country of origin?
· What did you learn about your family from your research?
· What else would you like to learn about the Jewish community in your country oforigin?
· What questions would you like to ask your parents or grandparents about their country?
· How does knowing your history strengthen your identity?
1. Finding Primary Sources
The students search for 3-5 primary sources describing Jewish life in their country. These can include ritual items, photographs of famous community figures, photographs of synagogues, photographs connected to local celebrations of Jewish holidays, items relating to community history or news, posters relating to the community, etc.
2. Analyzing Primary Sources
Using Primary Source Analysis Worksheet, students analyze each primary source and summarize what it has taught them about their community.
After researching several primary sources, the students create a booklet, digital book, or website about the Jewish community that they researched.