When student teams create skits to gain perspective on different aspects of the same historical event, they may begin to grasp complexity of history. Sometimes they leap to fresh insights, as they did during a Revolutionary battle in Jody Passanisi’s classroom.
Category: Future of History
The Common Core expects students will support claims with evidence from a text. History teacher Aaron Brock shares an innovative technique he created to help weak readers in his under-resourced urban school develop an understanding of this process.
When students created a current issues exploratory, Jody Passanisi found they not only showed great compassion and understanding–as well as anger–about world events, but they stepped up to lead the class and drive an open, research-supported inquiry.
Teaching history students to interpret charts and graphs is often difficult, especially when their grasp of math is limited. In his low-literacy middle school, Aaron Brock used a small-group, high-interest graphing project to build skills and understanding.
Last year Jody Passanisi concluded that her go-to lesson on types of government no longer gripped students’ attention. Here she evaluates the successes and challenges of a redesign: lots more student ownership, but is there enough understanding at the end?
After watching a music video parody by history educator Mr. Betts, Jody Passanisi’s 8th graders begged to create their own parodies using American History topics. The resulting lyrics effectively synthesized the content and ideas they were studying.
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.
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.