Critical evaluation of sources

SubjectHistory YearYear 10 CurriculumAC v8.4 Time60

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Students analyse a range of primary and secondary sources related to everyday life and welfare during the Great Depression, World War II and Post World War II. For each source, they identify the intended purpose and audience, the creator’s perspectives, values and motives and evaluate its usefulness and reliability. 

Australian Curriculum or Syllabus

Achievement standard

Students sequence events and developments within a chronological framework, and identify relationships between events across different places and periods of time. When researching, students develop, evaluate and modify questions to frame a historical inquiry. They process, analyse and synthesise information from a range of primary and secondary sources and use it as evidence to answer inquiry questions. Students analyse sources to identify motivations, values and attitudes. When evaluating these sources, they analyse and draw conclusions about their usefulness, taking into account their origin, purpose and context. They develop and justify their own interpretations about the past. Students develop texts, particularly explanations and discussions, incorporating historical argument. In developing these texts and organising and presenting their arguments, they use historical terms and concepts, evidence identified in sources, and they reference these sources.

Content descriptions

Historical Skills

Process and synthesise information from a range of sources for use as evidence in an historical argument (ACHHS188).

Evaluate the reliability and usefulness of primary and secondary sources (ACHHS189).

Identify and analyse the perspectives of people from the past (ACHHS190).

Student learning resources

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The making of a welfare state


Source analysis worksheet

Suggested activity sequence

This sequence is intended as a framework to be modified and adapted by teachers to suit the needs of a class group.

  1. Use a grouping strategy to organise students into groups of 4.
  2. Groups:
    • organise sources into primary and secondary sources
    • share the sources among group members so that each student has at least 3 sources, including at least one primary source.
  3. Students individually:
    1. analyse the sources they have been given and record their conclusions on the worksheet
    2. share their analysis with other group members.
  4. Groups organise sources in order of reliability, from the most reliable to the least reliable and explain their rankings.