Evaluating Sources & Using Evidence


Following the Reading Like a Historian (RLAH) approach to engaging students in historical inquiry and investigation, we can pose the following questions about opposing viewpoints on the issues.

Close Reading

  • What claims does the author make? 
  • What evidence does the author use?



  • Do you think this document provides a trustworthy account of current and historical events? 
  • Why or why not?

The following 2+ minute video clip is an analysis of the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border from a “Progressive” perspective – 

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York, representing parts of the Bronx and Queens in New York City, recasts the border crisis as an immigration, climate, and trade crisis rooted in a history of American imperialism.



The following less-than-2-minute video clip is an analysis of the border crisis from a “conservative” perspective – U.S. Representative Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, representing Bakersfield, and the U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader,  casts the situation at the border as a crisis brought on by President Biden’s administration throwing open the border and doing nothing to prevent thousands of migrants from coming in.


Additional Activity

  • If either U.S. Representative above was visiting your classroom having made the remarks above, what questions would you ask the person?
  • To what extent would you agree with what the person said?
  • To what extent would you disagree with what the person said?