Integrating Historical Primary Sources into Text Sets to Support Civic Argument Writing

2023 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) Conference, Nashville, TN



Teachers in our Philadelphia Writing Project network are engaging in inquiries and creating curriculum resources to support civically engaged argument writing in K-12 classrooms. 

Our emerging resources draw upon:

Why and How We Use Text Sets

Our team of teachers has combined three approaches for creating text sets:

With these three strands of work as our guides, we have woven together current news articles and videos, informational texts and infographics, historical primary sources in a range of formats (e.g., photos, prints, legislation, maps), and other sources like picture books and even novels. In our text set on child labor, we include images and other primary sources from the Library of Congress that shed light on the history of child labor and laws. We combine these texts with recent news stories about recent changes to child labor laws across the country.

Teachers may use text sets for a variety of purposes to support civic argument writing:

Example Text Sets

Each of our curriculum collections includes a text set that can be used and modified for classroom use to support civic argument writing. 

Text Set Planning Tool

Text Set Planning Tool — NCSS 2023 Conference — Supporting Civically Engaged Argument Writing — Philadelphia Writing Project

Video About Creating Text Sets

In this webinar recording, Philadelphia Writing Project teacher consultants Javaha Ross and Trey Smith describe a process for creating a text set that supports civic argument writing.

Conference Poster

2023 NCSS Conference — Integrating Historical Primary Sources into Text Sets to Support Civic Argument Writing



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