One of the conventions of historical study is to maintain objectivity. But it is also important for us to reflect on our past with regard to its implications on the present. Explicitly introducing students to the ethical dimension invites emotion, feeling, and judgment into our understanding of the decisions and consequences of the past and creates to the space to imagine reparative futures.
The below exercises offer opportunities to explicitly introduce students to the concept of the ethical dimension.
Understanding Our Worldviews(link is external): Students create posters to help identify how their particular worldviews might affect their study of history.
Each of these scaffolds can be customized to support your unit of study while reinforcing the historical thinking concept.
- Interrogate a Source - Implied Ethical Judgement
- Asking Critical Questions of the Past
- Big Six + 1 The "activist dimension" developed by the UCLA History-Geography Project.
Culminating Project/Connection to Local History
Taking a Historical Approach to Activism: (link is external)This project asks students to compare the different roles of historians and activists, and allows students to think critically about the role of "historian-activists". Students plan a campaign for change about a current issue while considering the historical roots of the issue.
Reclaiming Local History Resource Guide Linked articles, assignment ideas, and learning strategies that can inform lesson development for students.
Making History Teaching Reflection:(link is external) Use this as a tool to refine and revise teaching strategies within this module.
Related Model Lessons
- Rigged Monopoly (multiple grades)
- Campaign for Change (multiple grades)
- Ethnic Studies Lesson Plan (multiple grades)
A Note on Supporting Literacy Development: We encourage you to refer to these UCBHSSP planning templates(link is external)(link is external) as you make use of the Making History modules. Additional UCBHSSP strategies can be found in our literacy handbook, Access for All Learners.