Compare and contrast firsthand and secondhand accounts

Compare and contrast firsthand and secondhand accounts

I can compare and contrast the firsthand and secondhand accounts of an event.

OpenNo account needed.
Compare and contrast firsthand and secondhand accounts

8,000 schools use Gynzy

92,000 teachers use Gynzy

1,600,000 students use Gynzy


In this lesson, students read several informational texts and compare the points of view: firsthand and secondhand. They will practice identifying examples of each. They will also read a passage and then rewrite it from a different point of view.

Common core standards


Learning Objective

Students will be able to compare and contrast a firsthand and secondhand account of the same event or topic and describe the differences in focus and the information provided.


To begin the lesson, have students think of a time when an older relative told a story from the past. What was the story? Have students share with a partner. What kinds of details did this person provide? Explain that this person shared a firsthand account of an event. Sharing with a partner now makes it a secondhand account.


Explain the difference between firsthand and secondhand accounts and provide examples of each. Tell students that through these accounts, we can learn a lot about the past and pass on these stories to future generations. Have students read more examples of each and identify the features of each like personal pronouns, feelings and opinions, and general facts. Students then read sentences and passages and determine if they come from a firsthand or secondhand account. How do they know? Next, students read a firsthand account or a hurricane, and they will rewrite the event as a secondhand account. Do the same for a secondhand account. Then students will spin a wheel and write a firsthand or secondhand account of a specific event depending on where they land.


Students respond to 10 multiple-choice and true or false questions.


Students will write a letter about an event in history that they have lived through. The letter should be written to a person who has not been born yet.

The online teaching platform for interactive whiteboards and displays in schools

  • Save time building lessons

  • Manage the classroom more efficiently

  • Increase student engagement

About Gynzy

Gynzy is an online teaching platform for interactive whiteboards and displays in schools.

With a focus on elementary education, Gynzy’s Whiteboard, digital tools, and activities make it easy for teachers to save time building lessons, increase student engagement, and make classroom management more efficient.

Go to Homepage

Get started with Gynzy