Core assessments

This assessment measures students’ ability to source a document.  When historians interpret a document, they look at who wrote it and when.  Source information presents clues about whether the document provides reliable evidence about the past.  This HAT gauges whether students understand an important aspect of sourcing: the time elapsed between when a document was produced and the event it depicts.   

The Colonial Era
Sourcing

This assessment asks students to source and corroborate a letter from a Union soldier describing low morale among Union soldiers after the Battle of Fredericksburg.  Question 1 asks students to evaluate whether the source provides sufficient evidence to demonstrate the morale of the entire Union Army. To answer this question, students must source the document to determine whether the author represents all Union troops.  Question 2 asks students to evaluate whether additional documents would corroborate the letter.

Civil War and Reconstruction
Corroboration, Sourcing

This assessment reveals students' ability to source a document.  Historical documents do not provide perfect windows into the past.  Rather, each source has relative strengths and weaknesses as evidence about the past.  This HAT gauges whether students can see not only how a document provides evidence about the past but also its limitations.  

Civil War and Reconstruction
Sourcing

This HAT assesses students’ ability to use evidence to support a historical argument.  Students are presented with two documents that provide different perspectives on the war in the Philippines.  Students are then asked to explain how each of these disparate accounts supports the same historical conclusion: many Americans opposed the war in the Philippines.  

American Imperialism
Contextualization, Sourcing, Use of evidence

This question assesses students' historical knowledge but does so in a way that transcends the rote recall of facts. To know history is to see connections between events across time.  This assessment asks students to draw on their knowledge of the past to construct an argument about how two events are connected. 

American Imperialism
Background knowledge, Contextualization, Corroboration
#1 (Gr. 6-12)

This exercise measures sourcing and contextualization. Students read a letter from a Kansas housewife to Thomas Edison. Students then select two facts that help them determine whether Mrs. Lathrop was typical of American women in the 1920s.  Students must select the facts that allow them to explain why Mrs. Lathrop was atypical.

World War I and the 1920s
Contextualization, Sourcing

This assessment gauges students' ability to source and contextualize a document.  Students first listen to an excerpt from an interview with Marianna Costa, a union leader from Paterson, New Jersey.  Students then analyze four historical facts and determine which ones can help determine whether Costa’s account of union accomplishments is historically reliable.  

The New Deal and World War II
Contextualization, Sourcing, Use of evidence

This assessment gauges students' ability to source and contextualize a document. Students must first situate a playbill in time.  Students then select facts that might provide relevant historical context for determining the authors' motivation and explain how the facts might shed light on why the authors wrote the play. 

The New Deal and World War II
Contextualization, Sourcing

This assessment gauges students’ ability to source, contextualize, and corroborate a document.  Students must consider how the contextual information about the creation of Lange’s iconic photograph affects its reliability as historical evidence of Dust Bowl life.  Students must also analyze the photograph and determine how the content of the image might affect its reliability.  Finally, students are asked to think about what other information they might seek to help them evaluate the reliability of the document.

The New Deal and World War II
Contextualization, Corroboration, Sourcing

This assessment measures students’ ability to contextualize two historical documents and place them in the correct chronological order. Document A is a 1936 letter from the Eleanor Roosevelt to Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP. Document B is a 1957 letter from Daisy Bates, a NAACP representative in Arkansas, to Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins. The assessment draws on students' knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement but in a way that taps more than just the recall of facts and dates. Students must show that they have a broad understanding of how the Civil Rights Movement unfolded and that they can actively use historical information to place the two documents in context.

The Civil Rights Era
Background knowledge, Contextualization, Periodization