Primary Source Exemplar – Backstory Podcast 

*Regardless of if the class is listening or reading, the teacher should provide the transcript for students to follow along with. 

For a downloadable version of this guide, click here

Back Story Links:


  1. Before you read/listen:
    1. What is the title?
    2. What do you predict this podcast will be about?
    3. Who are the speakers? What do you know about them?
    4. When was this podcast recorded? What do you know about this time period? 
  2. Read/listen to the15 minutes segment of this podcast entitled “Hip Hop on the Mic” for the first time
    1. As you follow along
      1. Circle any vocabulary words that you don’t know and the key terms
        1. Example Key terms:
          1. Islam/Muslim
          2. Any artists/people you recognize 
      2. Put a question mark “?” after anything you have a question about/want to know more about
  3. After the first listening:
    1. Write a short summary of the segment (4-6 sentences) 
    2. What do you think the purpose of this segment was? Do you think it accomplished its purpose?
  4. Read/listen to the segment for the second time
  5. After the second listening:
    1. Who do you think the audience of this segment is? Why do you think this?
      1. Go back to the segment transcript and underline three places that help you understand the audience. Next to the text, write “audience”.
    2. What type of source is this – Informational, argumentative, or narrative? How do you know? 
      1. Put a spiral next to three places you find evidence for the type of source this is. 
    3. What is the tone of this segment?
      1. Put a box around five words/phrases that show you the tone
  6. Connect this segment of the podcast to history:
    1. What did you learn from this podcast that you might not learn anywhere else?
    2. Did this podcast segment support or contradict what you already knew about Islam in America? How so? 
    3. What other documents or historical evidence are you going to use to help you understand Islam in America? 
    4. Compare this podcast to other sources about Islam in America. How is it similar or different?