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Dimension 3: Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence

Purpose: This investigation looks at Dimension 3: Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence. This includes the skills students need to analyze information and come to conclusions in an inquiry. These skills focus on gathering and evaluating sources, and then developing claims and using evidence to support those claims.


As a result of participating in this investigation, you will:

  • Become familiar with the SOURCES Framework
  • Experience ways to “practice” sourcing and evaluating documents to find evidence to support claims
  • Learn ways in which you can guide students to gather and evaluate various sources of information
  • Identify how to “source” documents, analyze information, examine multiple perspectives, and formulate a conclusion

This investigation has three parts: InvestigateCreate, and Connect. Please be sure to do all three sections.


Watch the Dimension 3: Evaluating Sources and Using Evidence webinar with Dr. Scott Waring to see how teachers can guide students to gather and evaluate various sources of information – how to “source” documents, analyze information, examine multiple perspectives, and formulate a conclusion. The webinar provides examples and there are video clips of this practice.

View the slides from the webinar here.

Reflect and Discuss
In the webinar, you learned about the rational and importance of Dimension 3 of the C3 Framework. The webinar also provided you with examples of how primary and secondary sources can be used to create a richer social studies experience for students. As a team, discuss the following:


Read "Using SOURCES to allow digital natives to explore the Lewis and Clark Expedition".  Pay special attention to the SOURCES Framework and how the article shares the way in which students learn about the Lewis and Clark Expedition through the structured activity in the article.


Choose a publicly available primary source. As a team, use the primary source analysis tool or one of the source analysis sheets provided on the National Archives website to guide your collaborative analysis of the primary source and to generate questions for further exploration.

Post a blog in your group space sharing your team’s reflections about these tools and strategies for evaluating sources. Share the primary source you selected to analyze together and what your analysis reveals about the source and about the analysis tool. Tag the blog post with “C3 Dimension 3”.


Create a lesson plan about the content of your choice utilizing the SOURCES Framework to structure your lesson.  Provide all necessary links, resources, source analysis sheets, etc. To guide in the developement of the lesson plan, use the Instructional Planning Guides and Lesson Plan Templates at the appropriate grade band.
Once you've completed your Lesson Plan Template, post a blog in your Exchange Group that describes the lesson's topic that you have chosen and explain how you arrived at this choice for a lesson topic.  Using the "Attachment" option at the bottom of the Blog form, upload your completed Lesson Plan Template. Tag the blog with "Dimension 3 Lesson Plan".


What? So What? Now What?

  • What? Think about this investigation holistically.  What did you learn about working as a collaborative team through the lens of the C3 Framework and Dimension 3?
  • So What? How does the C3 Framework help guide your understanding of how you can engage students in authentic learning experiences that incorporate the use of primary sources. 
  • Now What? How will Dimension 3 of the C3 Framework support your collaborative learning team? What will your group’s next steps be?

In your group's space on the Exchange, post a blog that speaks to your group's experience in incorporating Dimension 3 and what you feel you learned from that shared process. Tag this post with "Collaboration with D3.”

In this C3LC group discussion, share from one team leader to another (one coach to another) what went well and what you would do differently next time around.