Historiography Lesson One

Essential Questions:

How does one interpret primary sources? Is there a limit to interpretation?  How does using different categories of analysis impact the way you read a text?  How much comes from the theory you bring to the topic and how much comes from the source itself?

- CHAPTER FIFTEEN - Kellor Takes Off

4) How might her intellect and her upbringing influence her arbitration program?  Could a biographer sort these out in a person?  Might you have emphasized one more than the other?  What would the implications of emphasizing each be?


In lecture, with a handout, express the opinion that Founding Mothers puts forward these main themes:

1) Kellor wished the immigrants well and sought to Americanize via inclusion.

2) Kellor mostly sought to use social justice and participatory democracy to envelop immigrants in America.

3) Kellor got less and less interested in culture and morals as time went on.

4) Kellor should be considered an intellectual.

5) Kellor's masculinity impacted her ideas and her implementation.

The students need not have read the book to know these. If they had, they can add more themes.


Each student takes two primary sources from this website.  They are then to see if the evidence supports or contradicts Founding Mother's themes.  They should write a five line paragraph explaining their finding.  

Now thinking of income equality, gender, democracy, race, immigrant rights, or some other theme, the students are to use the primary source to support a totally different conclusion.  If they only see Founding Mother's point of view in the text, so much the better.  Then they can use the text in an unethical way and bend it to make their point about Kellor.  

At the end of this exercise, they should get into small groups and discuss:

a) What they found in their primary sources and what they wrote about.  What were the difficulties?  Was it easy?

b) The essential questions.

There should be whole class discussion concerning what they found and what this tells them about history.

Their homework is to write a five paragraph essay entitled "The Art of History."  It should summarize what they found in class today.