There’s no room in an adolescent’s world view for the loftier goals of history study, says Aaron Brock. So when teaching about American rights of assembly and petition, Brock has students write petitions about issues close to their own school lives.
Category: Future of History
Ever struggle to find a balance between crafting good lessons and staying spontaneous? History teachers Jody and Shara describe their well-honed four step process that begins with backward design and ends with reflections in their purple notebook.
In history class, experiential lessons have great potential to transport students to another time and place, says teacher Aaron Brock, but they are difficult to orchestrate and can present ethical dilemmas. Brock shares a hands-on lesson from his Civil War unit.
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.
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.