Class 7: Close Reading Historical Documents

Close Reading Historical Documents

Teachers can use historical documents to build literacy skills in a content area while empowering students to be the historian in the classroom. But document-based  instruction in this context requires four key elements to be successful:

  1. The right documents. (shouldn’t be reliant on background knowledge)
  2. Knowing how to “read” the historical document.
  3. Letting students discover their own patterns, then asking students to describe, compare and defend what they found.
  4. Basing the task on enduring questions, the kind that students might actually want to answer.

In Class 7 we will practice some strategies for assisting students to more closely read a document (in all their multimedia formats) by answering three Common Core questions. Broad version:

  1. What does it say?
  2. How does it say it?
  3. What’s it mean to me?

More specifically, what do we mean by close reading? Teachers can guide students with scaffolding questions that explore “texts” (in all their forms).

Key Ideas and Details:

What does the text say? Identify the key ideas. What claims does the author make? What evidence does the author use to support those claims?

Craft and Structure:

Who created the document? What’s their point of view / purpose? How did the text say it? How does it reflect its historic time period?

Integration of Knowledge and ideas:

Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text. Recognize disparities between multiple accounts. Compare text to other media / genres. How does it connect to what we’re learning?

And what’s it mean to me?

In class activity

Find a historical image and pair it with one of the Primary Source Icebreakers. The post to the padlet below. Include title of icebreaker, response to prompt and hyperlinked source of image. (See example below)

Source TPS Connect

Made with Padlet
Assignment 7

Students will prepare to teach their second lesson to peers during the two classes noted below. As they did last time they will do a blog post to introduce the lesson and following the lesson. Lessons should be original designs.

The introductory blog post can highlight:

  • target audience
  • content (what will be studied)
  • process (what will you do – what will students do)
  • resources for lessons

Class 8 10/21) – Jose, Jarrett, Casey
Class 9 (10/28)  Renee, Maddy, Jacquie, Cody

Class 5/6: Lesson Study

Lesson Study

Lesson study is a form of classroom inquiry in which several teachers collaboratively plan, teach, observe, revise and share the results of a single class lesson.  (Learn more about the “formal” process here)

We are modifying that formal process into a simple one. Each student in the class will “teach” a 20-25 minute learning activity. The rest of the class will act as participate / observers – serving as “students” during the lesson and afterwards, giving feedback to the “teacher.”

Assignment 4 – teaching a lesson

“Teachers” have prepared a learning activity and written an anticipatory blog post following guidelines outlined here.

  1. target audience
  2. content (what will be studied)
  3. process (what will you do – what will students do)
  4. resources for lessons

Participate / observers will use the following prompts to guide their feedback  immediately following the lesson.

  1. Content: as a student, what were you learning – facts, skills, insights?
  2. Process: what did you see the teacher do to set up and deliver the lesson?
  3. Product: what were you, as a student, tasked to “do / produce” to demonstrate your learning?
  4. Assessment: as an observer, how did the lesson go? Insights on content, delivery, workflow. Suggestions?
Assignment 5

“Teachers” will write a blog post that reflects on how your intent was realized in your delivery. Possible prompts:

  • Did you accomplish your goals?
  • What worked well? What didn’t?  
  • How about your timing, delivery and workflow?
  • What did you learn from the experience?

Class 4: Crafting a Lesson

Crafting a Lesson

This class will begin with a review of the learning activities designed by students in our last assignment. Next we will discuss critical components of a good learning activity.

Assignment 4

Students will develop and deliver a 20-25 min lesson in their assigned class

  • 9/23 – Renee, Maddy, Jacquie, Cody
  • 9/30 – Jose, Jarrett, Casey

Students should also do a blog post that previews the lesson – noting:

  • target audience
  • content (what will be studied)
  • process (what will you do – what will students do)
  • resources for lessons

About the lesson   The lesson should a historical thinking skills lesson. Specific content of lesson is up to you. If you can get the timing right, we can offer you feedback before you use it with your students.

  1. This lesson should be delivered as if we were your class.
  2. Your peers will serve as participant observers noting lesson content, nature of the student task, lesson delivery and student workflow.
  3. Feel free to design a flipped lesson in advance and let the class know of your plans and required viewing.
  4. If you have a significant amount of reading required, send it to us in advance.
  5. After your delivery of the lesson go back and edit your post with synopsis of what you learned from our class feedback.

Class 3: Historical Thinking Skills

Historical thinking skills lesson

Our class begins with a review of the Sam Wineburg reading and TEDEd flipped lesson Who is the historian in your classroom? (That will also provide a chance to discuss the efficacy of flipping content.  What are the challenges and opportunities for that approach?)

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 historical thinking skills – Sourcing, Contextualization, Corroboration. See Historical Thinking Chart  (pdf in English and Spanish at SHEG).

We will get inspired by some SHEG lessons from their collections Reading Like a Historian and Beyond the Bubble.

Here’s what a Google From looks like: Photograph – Zulu Chief
Here are some student designed SHEG-inspired lessons that are delivered using Google Forms
  1. Reconstruction Cartoon – Thomas Nast
  2. Photograph – “War is Hell”
  3. Film clip – Charlie Chaplin film clip
  4. Political Cartoon – Votes for Women

In class Practice
Click image to go to curated collection of historical sources to practice using Google Forms | Source
Assignment 3 | Completed Posts 19A-3

Design a mini lesson based on one of the historical thinking skills in a Google Form and embed into your next post.

Google form lesson should include:

  1. Title
  2. Document to be considered – image or video (or short text passage)
  3. Archival source of document (be sure it’s in public domain)
  4. One or more questions for user to answer.
  5. Instructional goal

Then get embed the Google form in post (more instructions below). Be sure your blog post has:

  1. Title for your mini-lesson. Why not make it catchy?
  2. Featured image (could be created with your archival photo)
  3. Embedded Google form
  4. Brief reflection on the mini lesson, historical skill or use of Google form in classroom

Tech resources for lesson

More tips on using Google forms here

How to get an embed code for your Google form

How to HTML Snippets to embed your Google form into WordPress post. Note in this example I begin by getting the embed code from a Padlet. Once you have the any embed code on your “clipboard” you can use HTML Snippets in WordPress