Reading comprehension is a primary goal in Aaron Brock’s middle school history classroom. Building on last year’s annotation experiments, Brock has adapted the familiar 5 W’s strategy to help students pay closer attention to the meaning behind the words. It’s working.
Category: Future of History
When our social studies bloggers planned their U.S. History curriculum, they made sure to add contemporary music. The lyrics of rap and country decontextualize historical themes and let students make connections tying the past to the present.
Social studies teacher Aaron Brock prefers to limit lectures to five minutes in his eighth grade inner city classroom and then shift to cooperative learning activities – giving as much attention to research skills as specific history content.
Pressed for time at the end of the year but determined to engage her history students in the post-Civil War era, Jody Passanisi turned to a pre-made lesson from SHEG. Before long her students were debating the impact of Reconstruction on American history.
New ideas can improve the curriculum and teaching strategies of history educators, but that doesn’t have to mean throwing out the old to experiment with the new. What to keep and what to add? Our history bloggers share some helpful criteria.
In Making History Mine, Sarah Cooper shows how teachers can help students answer the age-old question: Why should I care about all this stuff? Cooper’s pedagogical approach “leads us down a path that helps our students make these stories come alive.”
We want our students to read, comprehend, and analyze text. During the past school year, history educators Aaron Block and Jody Passanisi tried annotation as a learning strategy. Here they recount how it went in the two diverse schools where they teach.
Students in Jody Passanisi’s inquiry-driven Civil War technology unit see the value of grit firsthand as they attempt to build a simple telegraph. After some setbacks, the messages travel the wires, and the kids get a taste of self-efficacy. The teacher’s challenge: Letting them struggle.
While inner-city history teacher Aaron Brock agrees that lecture has been chronically abused in the middle grades, he uses short flexible lectures and image-heavy slides to help prepare students for deeper learning in his diverse classroom.
Can speculation about alternate history and “what-if” scenarios help students sharpen their critical thinking skills? Participants in a recent Twitter hashtag chat think so, as MiddleWeb history bloggers Jody Passanisi and Shara Peters report.