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Making History Modules - How to Use

The Making History Curricular Modules were piloted with high school students during the 2017 Making History Summer Program. These modules should be seen as frames -- a starting point as teachers guide students in constructing knowledge in history classrooms. We believe that they can be modified for use with students in grades 4-12.

 

The four modules have gone through several rounds of revision and have been tested in elementary, middle and high school classrooms. We have included specific instructions on how these modules might be used. However, with a spirit of experimentation in mind, we encourage teachers to modify the curriculum to meet the needs of your students and school community.

 

 

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Considerations for Teacher Planning

 

Unit Integration

As you plan a unit of inquiry, consider which historical thinking concept you might explore with your students. Deconstructing your unit focus question is generally a good place to start in order to identify specific historical thinking concepts. If you’d like to learn more about historical thinking, and the work of Peter Seixas, whose research informed our thinking, we encourage you to explore the website of the Historical Thinking Project.

 

Pre-Lesson

Each curricular module includes a pre-lesson that introduces a historical thinking concept, using student’s personal histories as the basis for inquiry. We suggest using this pre-lesson at the beginning of a unit of study in order to reinforce the specific historical thinking concept before engaging with new content.

 

Content Applications

The content applications in each curricular module should be used as scaffolds to reinforce the historical thinking concept within a unit of study. As you progress through your unit, consider using one or two of the content applications to reinforce the historical thinking concept that was introduced in the pre-lesson.

 

 

Culminating Project

The culminating project provides the opportunity to integrate the student’s personal history, the unit of study, and the historical thinking concept. Rather than emphasizing a “polished” finished project, in the spirit of experimentation and inquiry, we encourage you to invite students to create a “prototype” of the project. In this way, we reinforce to students that we are learning together, and that the construction of knowledge is an ongoing, not yet final, process.  

 

Connections to Local History

As you apply the modules to a particular unit of study, we encourage you to think about how you can incorporate local history and the histories of your students. If you teach world history, consider the history of indigenous settlements, patterns of im/migration, or how geography/culture has shaped the settlement and economy of your community today and in the past.

 

 

Reflection on Teaching

We encourage Making History teachers to consistently try new instructional ideas, with an aim of developing shared inquiries with students. As you try parts of the module, consider using the Making History Teaching Reflection to take notes on each strategy.