Smithsonian

Fact, Fiction: Step Three

Divide the class into small groups. Distribute Document B, the excerpt from A Household History for All Readers by Benson J. Lossing. Have the groups read the passage and then, as groups, try to determine bias, motive, immediacy, and reliability. Ask each group to present its findings to the rest of the class.

Key:

Bias: American author. Should we assume all American authors are anti-British? Is there anything to suggest that the author is anti-British?
Motive: Make history understandable to all people who can read.
Immediacy: Written in 1877.
Content: Who’s to blame for what happened in March of 1770?
Consistency: Do other accounts corroborate this account?