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iPads and Primary Sources: Post It App and Primary Source Analysis

Album Description

I added the iPad Post-It app on the iPad to our primary source analysis of a newspaper article on Belva Lockwood. 

I started by asking students to source and contextualize the source. Then we reviewed the three parts of PS analysis we would focus on, observation, reaction, and questioning.

Students worked in groups to read and analyze the text, writing their observations, reactions, and questions on the sticky notes. As they progressed, they put the sticky notes on the dry erase boards in the library which gave me a quick visual check of where their thinking was and how they were progressing. I used that visual check as I touched base with groups during their analysis.

Then I introduced the Post-It app. This particular class had not used it before so I spent five minutes doing a quick demo and guiding their next steps, to take their notes and start to organize them by themes, finding connections between those observations, reactions, and questions. As part of this, they also named their groups. For this part of the activity, students worked in pairs or alone, their choice.

Then we came back together as a class and shared our groupings. Those groupings gave a great overview of the article showing that the students collectively grasped the main points of the article.

Students shared some of their questions also sharing what grouping it was in (giving it some additional context).

We finished the activity by reading A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women's Rights which answered several questions and left some for another time.

I really liked the addition of the Post-It app into the analysis and will try it again. Students shared out overall that they liked how they were able to organize their thinking on the app.


Students analyze the article, writing their observations, reactions, and questions on sticky notes.

Students added sticky notes to a board in the library.

Students scanned the sticky notes with the Post It app.

Students worked collaboratively to organize their thinking, grouping the observations, reactions, and questions into their own determined categories.

They were able to rename groups in the app to document their thinking to share later.

If students had ideas they hadn't captured, they were able to create new notes in the app and add them to the digital board.