Today's post is the second in a series of posts on how I train my students in historical thinking at the start of the school year. A "Boot Camp" so to say. A way to prepare them for the skills I'm going to ask of them all year. Here is a list of the series of posts. (Click the link to read the other days)
- Day 1: Discussion Expectations - Employability Skills - Historical Thinking
- Day 2: Skills for Thinking Historically
- Day 3: Stations - Sourcing Strengths and Limitations
- Day 4: Follow-up, Reflection and Modifications
I'm going to be honest from the start here. I wasn't originally planning on this being a 3-day thing. It was only going to be two. But then (as happens often) I had to adjust because of things outside of my control. The 2nd day of school was picture day, and picture day at a large high school means interruptions during class for students to leave for pictures.
I could get mad and frustrated with every "please excuse the interruption" that comes over the intercom or I can be smart about what I plan for picture day so we're not bothered. That means I need something that is pretty relaxed and easy for students to pick up where they left off as they come and go.
I decided to really make good on my comment from the first day...
This class is NOT sit and GET, in here you have to SHOW UP and DO.
So I made them "show up and do."
I reminded my classes of the last activity we did as we left yesterday. The "Orphans of the Abyss" and how they were already practicing the techniques of historical thinking. I also compared it to the Scientific Method and that this is just the way historians are going to attempt to answer questions about the past. Today we're going to explore that method.
I display the instruction sheet on the wall and go through the requirements. Today they're going to work with their team in order to research and create a poster over the major components of Historical Thinking
- Primary Sources and examples
- Secondary Sources and examples
- Sourcing a document
- Close Reading
- The Importance of History