Make History Come Alive!
5017: Teach Like an Historian: Teaching Historical Investigations in Social Studiesis designed for middle and high school social studies teachers looking for new ways to engage students with the past. At the center of this course is the text,Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer? Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12. The product of nearlytwenty years of social studies teaching, author BruceLesh’swork is based in real-world applications, practical strategies, and a healthy understanding of the fun and challenges of teaching middle and high school students. We love this text, and we thinkyou’ll love the chance to share the power of historical thinking with your students!
Central toLesh’sapproach to social studies teaching is historical investigation— AKAthe classroom history lab. Imagine your students working in teams to explore avariety of historical documents and developing arguments based on these sources about the way events shaped our country.Leshbelieves in order for students to think abouthistoryas something more than the memorization of facts, they must work together inthis way to consider relevant questions, investigate multiple sources to address these questions, and formulate their own evidence-based arguments. When students engage in this investigative process, they see history come alive through the voices and narratives that shaped these important events.
The first step in launching historical investigations in your classroom is helping students question and analyze historical documents and history textbooks. We want students to dig deep to fully understand a text, not just take it at face value. Learn how to help students understand text, context, and subtext to make meaning of important historical documents!
Providing students with the opportunity to explore a single historical event from multiple perspectivesis another key element of teaching historical investigations. Help your students see first-hand thateverysituation can be interpreted through different eyesand from different places— and understand that taking these views together leads to a deeper understanding of history. In this course, you’ll learn step-by-step how to build units around sources from everyday citizens, politicians, government documents, and the media. We’ll even get you started with sample lessons and great online resources!
Once you’ve established the foundations of classroom investigations, learn to use these techniques to address a wide variety of key concepts in historical thinking, including chronology and causality, change and consistency over time, and historical empathy. Filled with classroom examples and sample units, you’ll learn practical, hands-on strategies to bring historical investigations into your middle and high school classroom, and help your students develop universal critical thinking skills. Step beyond lectureand the textbook and join us in this thought-provoking class!
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