Historical Thinking: Historical Significance
· Narratives are constructed
· Interpretations vary, according to time and place
Lesson Focus Question: Why should we study history?
Lesson Author: Mary Robillard, 8th grade teacher, Rancho Medanos Junior High, Pittsburg, CA
Mary Robillard is a member of the UC Berkeley History-Social Science Project and, over the last few years, has been working on integrating historical thinking into her planning and instruction.
This lesson was created during the California and the Nation institute during the summer of 2016 and presented at the 2017 CCSS Conference. It's intended as a lesson to begin the year. The lesson asks students to reflect on their own definition of history and why the study of history is important. They are then introduced to three historians through brief excerpts of their writing, inviting students into an understanding that history is an interpretative discipline in which narratives are shaped by the beliefs and attitudes of the author, the questions asked, and the evidence explored.