Class 7: Teaching Historical Thinking – Part II

Today we continue our study of historical thinking skills based on the work of Sam Wineburg and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). We will focus on three key skills – Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating. See historical thinking chart (pdf at SHEG).

Students have designed lessons using one or more skills and will share them with the class. See assignment for more info.

See student SHEG inspired lessons here.

Peter will also lead the class in some exercises exploring “Close Reading” in using historical documents. Close Reading Hand Out

Assignment 7

Next week there will be no class on Oct 16th because of Fall break. Students will use the time to work on our Holocaust Memorial Project. You can follow our progress at our evolving website – Oregon Holocaust Memorial

Class 6: Teaching Historical Thinking

Teaching historical thinking

Today we begin our study of historical thinking skills based on the work of Sam Wineburg and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). We will focus on three key skills – Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating. See historical thinking chart (pdf at SHEG).

Our class is based on assigned work:  Sam Wineburg reading and TEDEd flipped lesson Who is the historian in your classroom?

Three student teams will present their jigsaw lessons on specific skills:

  • Sourcing – Taran and Paxton
  • Contextualizing – Nancy and Kelly
  • Corroborating- James and David

Next, we will practice our historical thinking skills and see some options for delivery using a shared Google Doc – Japanese Incarceration and a shared Google Form – Zulu Chief Photograph.

Assignment 6

Each student will design a lesson using one or more historical thinking skills. They are free to use hard copy delivery or a digital format. The lesson should be posted in accessible form in a blog post.

Video tutorials: Using Google Docs | Using Google Forms 
More on Google tools in our edMethods Toolkit

Students should be prepared to “teach” their lesson with peers taking the role of students. (E.g. Introduce their lesson as they might to their class).

Lesson  / Post should include:

  1. Title
  2. One or more historic documents. Could be text, image, video.
  3. Source information and URLs for all documents used.
  4. Introduction and background as needed.
  5. Questions.
  6. Instructional goal that indicates one (or more) of the historic skills to be studied – Sourcing, Contextualization, Corroborating.

Image credit: Adobe Spark

Thoughts on Creating Document-Based Lessons

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Vietnam War Protestors at the March on the Pentagon in 1967

For the past three weeks, we have been working on designing our own Document Based Lessons (DBLs) to be published on iBooks Author. This experience was interesting . This was my first time working on a project like this. I found that the process was a bit long and required having good knowledge about the topic. This is why I chose to cover anti-Vietnam War images in my DBL. I know a lot about the anti-war movement and it was a topic I felt would be interesting for high school students to examine.

When working on designing this DBL, I had first thought that I wanted to cover ’60s pop culture in relation to the counterculture movement. I then had a difficult time finding sources that were not copyrighted or would have such problems arise. This moved me to find images related to the anti-war movement. I found many images, including the one featured above,  that related to looking at anti-war protests and what those who were against the war were arguing.

Once I had these images, I arranged them around an essential question: How can images/language usage help us understand the goals of a movement or group? I chose to base my DBL around this question because it helps students to build skills around historical thinking skill such as Sourcing and Close Reading. Each of the images in my DBL  features the essential question as a reminder of what to be thinking about, and each image includes 4 questions specific to the image. This helps the student to make deeper connections to the images and what they are conveying.

When creating this DBL in iBooks Author, I found the experience to be interesting, and a little scary. It was interesting because I was able to get creative when designing the layout for my image set. I used various colored shapes to help my essential question and each additional question stand out. I also used a couple of widgets that allow students to magnify the image, and another that allows you to click the image and receive additional info about it, almost like a caption box. I feel like these additions helped to make my DBL feel less dull.

If I were to get the chance to, I would definitely like to do another project like this. It makes you think about what questions are worth asking, and what you want students to look at as historians.

Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vietnam_War_protestors_at_the_March_on_the_Pentagon.jpg

Differentiating Sources from Indian Boarding Schools

Carlisle Pupils
Carlisle Pupils

unknown author, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carlisle_pupils.jpg, 9/28/15

For teaching eleventh (or eighth) grade US History students corroborating and sourcing: This will be taught at the end of the first semester, in a learning segment on Indian boarding schools in the 1880’s.

Skill:

Sourcing and Corroborating

The three sources:

  • Richard Henry Pratt’s discussion of the “Indian Problem” and the need and success of boarding school’s for Native children: Richard Henry Pratt
  • A letter from a young Indian girl in a boarding school (begin reading at the second “The Indians” to “The Chinese” on page 141) Letter
    • It is important to remember that these letters were forced, they were read and edited by boarding school officials and often times students were told what to write.
  • Reflection (Begin reading at “THE CUTTING OF MY LONG HAIR” on page 186 end on “THE DEVIL” on page 189)Reflection
    • This was written by Zitkala Sa. She was a victim of the Indian boarding schools. Her narration is vivid but avoids the graphic imagery of some of the physical abuse that occurred. For more information on her follow this link.

Scaffolding questions:

    1. What happened in the boarding schools?
    2. Why were students there?
    3. How did they describe the school?
    4. Complete a rhetorical triangle for it!

Instructional strategies:

  1. Students form groups of three. Together they read one of the three pieces and answer the scaffolding questions.
  2. Students form a second group composed of themselves and two people who read the other pieces. In this group students briefly explain their article and, as a group, fill in a Venn Diagram (three circles) using the questions they answered in their first group.
  3. As a class we discuss their Venn diagram. Posing the questions “Why aren’t all the answers in the center portion?”  “What can we learn from the information in the center?” “What can we infer about the information that overlaps between two circles but not all three?” “What does this tell us about the sources that overlap most?”
  4. Students write a question that is best answered by the reflection. Then answer it with a one page quick-write.

 

Reflection: I will need to type out some of the sources in order to shorten them because they are scans and not word documents that one could copy and paste. While presenting I realized that it may work well with younger students as an introduction but I still worry about the emotional and psychological effects of discussing such a serious and traumatic subject. I cannot use it unfortunately because I am with sixth grade English students. I also think I could instead provide them with eight questions and ask them to decide which source or sources would answer each best and then ask them to answer one of them.

 

Rhetorical trianglemethods

Three circle Venn Diagrammethods2