Students shouldn’t come away from a role play “having done something memorable and learned nothing valuable,” says history teacher Aaron Brock. “There should always be a core skill or concept guiding the activity.” He offers 2 examples to illustrate.
Category: Future of History
Most history teachers know the value of collaborative projects, but students often struggle over who does the work. Our bloggers Jody & Shara offer some ideas about turning groups into teams and getting each student to carry a fair share of the load.
Historical accounts are seldom objective, write history teachers Jody Passanisi and Shara Peters. They recommend several strategies from their own classrooms that educators can use to help students detect bias and compare varying perspectives.
State assessments will soon require history students to read texts & make arguments supported by evidence. Aaron Brock believes non-traditional tests, like a recent poster project in his 8th grade inner-city classroom, can help build those skills.
History teachers can adopt flipped teaching techniques and remain true to their constructivist pedagogy, says Jody Passanisi. In her classroom, Passanisi creates videos that walk students through classroom procedures, explain tricky assignments, model writing or review test concepts — “anything procedural or to supply basic information.” The time she saves is invested in deeper study and individual help.
Inner city middle school teacher Aaron Brock describes how he scaffolds the writing of a thesis-driven history essay with good results for students.
Our bloggers share a unit that helps students understand the American Revolution from the perspective of characters who had to choose sides.
It’s tempting to keep well crafted lessons in play long after they are relevant to students, writes history teacher Jody Passanisi. We have to make them new.
Evaluative questions that encourage the development of evidence based opinions help students learn to view history “as a complex narrative.”
History teachers Jody Passanissi and Shara Peters use the QAR reading comprehension tool to improve student skills at analyzing and inferring from text.