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2.5.1 Questions for Contextualization

Reading Like a Historian also emphasizes the importance of context in their contextualization strategy as shown in the following:

Contextualization asks students to locate a document in time and place and to understand how these factors shape its content. The following questions guide students in the practice of contextualization:

  • When and where was the document created?
  • What was different then? What was the same?
  • How might the circumstances in which the document was created affect its

Stanford History Education Group

For context, it is also important to make sure that the document’s source information is available to the students, which includes the author’s name and position in society, as well as the place and date that the document was created, so that students can answer the questions related to contextualization.

Time to View

Starting at minute 4, watch "Reading Like a Historian: Contextualization" to see how one teacher helps her students analyze context to better understand primary source quotes about Colonial Independence Movements.


Reading Like a Historian: Contextualization External Link (Run time 11:16)

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Time to Extend

Select the following links to access the lesson materials and related content standards for the Colonial Independence Movements Lesson Plan discussed in the video.

Colonial Independence Movements Lesson Materials

CA History-Social Science Standards, Grade 10