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Primary Sources & Lesson Plans
Student Activity Sheet for Letters

SECTION 1: History Today

1. Read the letter that you brought in. What are the stated points of the letter?

2. Did you or your correspondent write this letter for any other reasons besides those stated in the letter? How were these more subtle points expressed?

3. What would someone need to know about the author of this letter in order to understand the document completely?

4. What would someone in the future learn about you from this letter? Might he/she form any erroneous impressions?

SECTION 2: Brainstorming

1. Write down everything you notice about the letter your teacher gave you.

2. If you did not already do so, be sure to include the author, recipient, topic, and date of this letter.

3. What additional information would you need to understand this letter fully?

4. What do you think was the purpose of this letter?

5. To what was this letter a response and what response do you expect it generated?

6. What did this letter teach you about women, Jews, and America in the time period when it was written?

SECTION 3: Now that you know…

1. Did learning about its context change your understanding of the letter?

2. What more subtle elements do you now see in the letter that you didn’t notice before?

3. Are any biases on the part of the author evident in this letter?

4. How did your own biases affect your initial response to the letter?

5. Knowing the context, have you revised your guess about the response this letter generated?

6. Do you think this letter would have been written differently if its author were of the opposite sex?

7. Why do you think this letter survived when so many others did not?

8. How did this letter change or add to your knowledge of this time period and/or topic?

SECTION 4: Follow-up Activities

1. Write a response to this letter or compose the letter that you think preceded it.

2.Compare this letter to another in the Jewish Women’s Archive collection with the same topic.


Document Study Sheets

Personal correspondence between young women, 1805

Correspondence about nursing employment, 1904

Correspondence about women's suffrage, 1920

Correspondence about postwar conditions in Europe, 1946

 

How to Cite This Page
Jewish Women's Archive. "JWA - Letters - Student Activity Sheet for Letters." <http://jwa.org/primarysources/student_letters.html>.