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The University of Texas at Austin


Henry B. Gonzalez - Curriculum - 11th Grade

Making More Places at the Table: 
A curriculum unit that explores the contributions of individuals to the American Civil Rights Movement

Henry B. Gonzalez at Gonzalez for Governor rally. Gonzalez (Henry B.) Papers, CAH; E-HBG-0015.

Henry B. Gonzalez at a "Gonzalez for Governor" rally. Gonzalez (Henry B.) Papers, CAH; E-HBG-0015.

5th Grade – Lesson Plan:

Identifying Primary and Secondary Source Documents

Download Lesson Plan and Handouts (.pdf)

Download all images (.zip)

Enduring understandings for this unit:

  • People who write history use evidence from the past to describe and explain the events, people and motivations that were part of a particular time period.
  • Individuals can make important contributions to bring greater civil rights to all Americans.

Essential Questions for this Unit:

  • What kinds of evidence does a historian use to help us understand the past?
  • What contributions have individuals made to help gain greater civil rights for Americans?


5 (B) identify accomplishment of notable individuals . . . areas of civil rights, women's rights, and . . . politics.

25 (A) differentiate between, locate, and use primary and secondary sources


Transparency: 5-1 – Attention Getter


  1. Interactive Notes for Identifying Primary and Secondary Source materials

  2. Identifying Primary and Secondary Sources

  3. James Farmer letter to wife Lula

  4. Photographs of: African-American couple; Henry B. Gonzalez and LBJ; Ku Klux Klan

  5. Copy of Freeman's Press Newspaper

  6. Biographies and autobiographies checked out of the school library

  7. Newspaper articles from the daily newspaper such as a movie critic's review; an article that describes an event


The student will:
  1. Define primary and secondary sources of information

  2. Examine samples of primary and secondary sources

  3. Identify examples of primary and secondary sources

Anticipatory Set (Attention Getter):

(Transparency 5-1)

The teacher will:

  1. Display the examples of primary source documents included in the kit and copies of encyclopedias, textbooks, biographies and autobiographies. Allow the students to walk around the display and examine the materials.

  2. Introduce the lesson by asking:

    1. What can we learn by examining these different materials?

    2. How do you think historians use this kind of information to write the history that we read in our textbooks and other sources?

    3. How are the materials here different from each other?

  3. Say:

    Our lesson today will focus on the different kinds of evidence that historians use to recreate historical periods. Those sources are broken into two categories: Primary and Secondary Sources.


  1. The teacher will:

    Guide the students through the interactive notes page on the definitions of primary and secondary resources.

    Guidelines for using interactive notes

    1. Duplicate enough copies of the student worksheet Interactive Notes for each student.

    2. Using an overhead transparency of the Teacher version of the Interactive Notes, the teacher will guide the students through the notes by reading the notes and writing the words that go in the blanks, allowing the students to copy the correct words as they follow along. Only one line of print should be shown at one time to keep the students focused on the discussion. When notes are complete, the teacher asks students to read the notes aloud and the teacher answers any questions that students have about the notes.

  2. The students will:

    Examine the materials assembled for the lesson and complete a worksheet identifying them as primary or secondary resources.


The students will choose an item from the day's lesson and explain whether it is a primary or secondary source and tell why.


The teacher will grade the worksheet on completeness and accuracy. Rubric provided.