Teaching students to “think like historians” begins with making connections between past and present, says teacher Mary Tarashuk. As her 4th graders begin the Age of Exploration, she calls on a Tai Chi parent-expert to help bridge ancient and modern times.
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.
Teachers who begin lessons without telling students “what we’re doing and where we’re going” are kidnappers, says Sarah Tantillo. Don’t take your middle graders on a mystery ride. Use the RPM strategy to write rigorous, purposeful, measurable objectives in any subject. Cheatsheet included!
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.
Common Core Literacy for ELA, History/Social Studies and the Humanities deserves a place on the bookshelf of all educators in the Humanities, says reviewer and rookie SS teacher Michael DiClemente. The book offers detailed strategies and timely tech advice.
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.
New ideas can improve the curriculum and teaching strategies of history educators, but that doesn’t have to mean throwing out the old to experiment with the new. What to keep and what to add? Our history bloggers share some helpful criteria.
In Making History Mine, Sarah Cooper shows how teachers can help students answer the age-old question: Why should I care about all this stuff? Cooper’s pedagogical approach “leads us down a path that helps our students make these stories come alive.”
Cemeteries: Alive with Learning, Barbara Kissling’s short book describing a PBL experience focused on old cemeteries, is a unique idea sure to engage middle schoolers, says reviewer Carolyn Baker.
Future voters and civic leaders need to understand how political messages are crafted so that they can see through the spin, says media literacy expert Frank W. Baker.