Assigning The Hate U Give as a summer read for history and English eighth graders seemed like a slam dunk to Sarah Cooper and her colleague. Looking back, she weighs the experience to better understand how she can prepare to teach, and then lean into, difficult topics.
Category: Future of History
A History and Social Studies blog
The Chicago district where Lauren Brown teaches has been wrestling with issues of equity centering around race with new urgency in recent years. She believes part of the answer is found in revising and deepening the curriculum and teaching Black history throughout the year.
Limiting feedback to final drafts means lots of teacher work and little student learning. What if, Sarah Cooper wondered, she could give students enough scaffolding – using an outline organizer and peer response – that their rough drafts included everything she wanted?
American Indian or Native American? Latina or Latino or Latinx? African American or Black? History teacher Lauren Brown shares activities and resources she uses to help students understand the background and history of such naming choices and why it’s important to teach.
History is not just the causes of the Civil War, reasons for industrial growth, or dates associated with “big events” and major characters. Lauren Brown works to help her middle schoolers understand it’s about ordinary, often archetypal lives of human beings much like us.
How can history students use resource books more effectively in their research papers? Taking a cue from a staff meeting, Sarah Cooper devised a handout to help 8th graders quickly scope out a nonfiction book and find stories and quotes to enliven their papers. It worked!
Returning from the 2018 NCSS conference, Sarah Cooper reignites her US history unit on reformers to deepen student understanding about historical, current and future activism. Learn more about the 10 Changemaker Questions she used to create a sense of action in her classes.
That day you left your notes at home. Or taught a stupendous lesson that left kids bored. Or found a student’s super essay was all plagiarized. Or arranged a special speaker only to learn about a conflicting event. Middle school teacher Lauren Brown offers solace and a mood lifting idea.
It’s at the precise moment when students are bombarded by facts, whether historical or current, that we need to be especially vigilant, writes American history and current events teacher Sarah Cooper, paraphrasing historian Sam Wineburg. Sifting through sources has become a life skill.
Sam Wineburg’s new book Why Learn History (When It’s Already on Your Phone) is a game changer, writes Sarah Cooper. Here she focuses on his ideas for teaching students to evaluate websites laterally in addition to vertically, in the manner of professional fact checkers.