Sunday, November 23, 2014

Historical Thinking Skills - My Classroom Must-Have!

Wow! This month is flying by!

Exciting news for this little blog: the lovely Teaching With Smiles nominated me for a Liebster Award! I'm so thankful to be able to connect with other bloggers and I can't wait to share my own nominations for the Liebster Award soon!

First up, though, a much overdue post on a new resource that's close to my heart -

Historical thinking is a process students use when analyzing primary and secondary sources. It's not enough to simply read a document or examine an historical image and move on. Students need to return to the text multiple times during their examination. Often, however, I've found that these skills are mainly being utilized by older students in high school and middle school. In reality, the process needs to start at the elementary level. In an effort to bring historical thinking into the elementary classroom, I developed a set of activities that are easy to incorporate into the Language Arts or Social Studies content in the classroom.

The basis of the historical thinking activities is Think and Link.

There are 5 components of Think and Link:

The Source
Students will identify the author(s) of the document. Students will also identify the type of document being analyzed.
The Description
Students will describe what they see or read in the document. If it is a picture, they'll describe the image. If it is a document or chart, students can describe the main ideas.
The Background
Students will use their background knowledge of the time period to describe the events surrounding the creation of the document.
The Purpose
Using their background knowledge, students will form a hypothesis as to why the document was created by using evidence. Depending upon the grade level/complexity needed, the teacher can prompt students to decide whether the source is biased or neutral.
The Reaction
Students will describe how people may have reacted to the creation of the document. Essentially - how did this document influence/impact history?

The resource, intended for grades 2 - 5, includes posters, word wall templates, and plenty of activities to both introduce students to the concept of historical thinking and continue the study throughout the year.

Check out the list of resources included:

I'm so excited to share these resources with other teachers because I truly believe they will help students make connections between historical events, become confident readers, and deep thinkers. Plus, they were made with Common Core (and similar) standards in mind to boot!
Visit The Teacher's Prep store for more information!
Happy Teaching!

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