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In light of increasing mandates to incorporate close reading of primary source historical documents at the elementary level, this study explored the reading difficulty level of the US Constitution with preservice elementary teachers using a traditional cloze assessment procedure. While best practice pedagogy of social studies has long included thoughtful reading of primary sources, new language arts guidelines situate the analysis of primary documents within formulaic quantifiable frameworks, often problematic to the pre-service teacher. With implications for reading and social studies, this paper explores several relevant issues to both pre-service teachers and the elementary classrooms they will teach in.

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This document was published with permission from the journal. It was originally published in SRATE Journal.