Conducting the Activity
Take what follows as a suggestion. Feel free to modify it in any way you think appropriate given the group with which you work.
- the sheet is a copy of one page from a book published in 1590 by a member of the first English colony in North America
- historians use documents like this (original sources) as part of their efforts to decide what happened in the past
- they will be given 5 minutes to read and translate the document into modern English
- you know that this will be difficult, but you want them to do their best without asking questions or talking with each other during this 5 minute period
- after the 5 minutes are up, they will have a chance to discuss the sheet and their translations with each other
- What differences are there between 1590 English and modern English?
- How did each group resolve translation issues?
- How do they think historians deal with documents like this one, or those that are even more difficult?
- In what ways might contemporary documents be more difficult to interpret than the Briefe and True Report?
return to the Briefe and True Report page
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original web posting: Thursday, July 8, 1999
last modified: Friday, April 08, 2005