Sarah Cooper emerged from her summer study of Emancipation thinking about the surprises and challenges presented by primary sources. She explores several options that could help students understand sources with antiquated language and complex structure.
Author: Sarah Cooper
Social studies teacher Sarah Cooper has found it “heartening to talk about the news every day” with history students this school year and wonders about activities that might engage next year’s kids even more deeply in the important questions facing the world.
What do middle school students gain and lose in a thematic history curriculum? Sarah Cooper relays her experiences with both theme and chronology approaches, finding strengths in each, as national standards shift from facts and dates to skills and big questions.
Sarah Cooper leaves her MS classroom behind for a few hours to experience life as a history student again. Her online course proves calming and stimulating, challenging and refreshing. She sees how content area PD can strengthen her classroom practice.
Like many history teachers, Sarah Cooper begins her classes with a current events discussion. Sometimes it can be harrowing, “especially when acts of terror occupy the stage.” She reflects on ways teachers can help students cope through positive action.
Middle level students want to know how their studies relate to their lives, writes teacher-author Sarah Cooper. “The history we teach reaches them best when it involves novelty, humor, meaning, a sense of self, and a connection to the real world.”