Learning, Online - Reflections on teaching history

Archive for the ‘Uncovering History’ Category

Historical Thinking,History,Uncovering History

February 3, 2018

The Stenka Razin Rebellion under review

Stepan, aka Stenka, Razin led a 17th century attack on outposts of the Russian state, and it looks different from the vantage point of Moscow or the Caspian sea.  I’m currently reading about rebels and pirates in Qing China, and Razin was both.  This “rebellion” began as maritime looting and pillaging, but inspired political insurrection in its […]

Curriculum,Uncovering History

October 25, 2017

Teaching East Africa and the Indian Ocean with Swahili

I have been doing some action research with the resources that I have compiled for using the Swahili language as a historical resource.  The material could be sliced and arranged to teach a variety of topics. I have been using some of the material to introduce my 11th grade, regular level World History class to the role […]

Uncovering History

August 7, 2016

Bring On History Fest!

As the people who read my tweets and my family know, I am very excited for Minnesota’s first annual History Fest on August 9th.   It promises discussion of historical thinking and opportunities for collaboration, the two main streams of my professional growth this decade.  Keynote speaker Bruce Lesh’s book Why Won’t  You Just Tell Us the Answer?  […]

Assessment,History,Uncovering History

June 9, 2015

DBQs for everyone

In a decade of teaching AP History, first Euro and now World, I have developed an appreciation for the Document-based question.  Students will ultimately forget many of the historical facts that we cover in AP History. The skills developed practicing and writing DBQ should be much more durable and transferable, because students practice in my […]

Assessment,Uncovering History

September 1, 2014

New Year, New Rubric

Just in time for the 2014-15 school year I’m rolling out Rubric 2.0: Historical Thinking.  In collaboration with colleagues in my school distict and in my twitter-based PLN, I plan to do action research with this rubric this year.  Three of the five lines are the same from last year’s Rubric 1.2: Writing with Evidence.  Adding “Corroboration” […]

Curriculum,Uncovering History

July 17, 2014

Uncovering Truman’s Decision to Fire McArthur

The following was originally posted elsewhere on 5/19/2012. I took a first shot at adapting and implementing Bruce Lesh’s lesson on Truman’s decision to fire MacArthur on Thursday and Friday. The first day was mainly establishing context using maps, notes, and political cartoons. I found this to be fairly labored, and my large 4th period class in particular […]

Curriculum,Uncovering History

Epistemic Shifts Are Hard

A couple of years ago I secured a small grant that paid for books and staff time for US History teaching colleagues and I to discuss Bruce Lesh’s Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer? and our experiences in putting his history lab ideas into practice.  We also read Lendol Calder’s seminal article on “Uncovering” History, […]

History,Uncovering History

Reading in between sources

As part of my summer reading program I recently finished Alan Taylor’s The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832, the winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for History.  I found it worthy of the award: scholarly, insightful, and engaging. As many things do, it got me reflecting on teaching historical thinking. I particularly appreciated Taylor’s very transparent use of […]

Assessment,History,Uncovering History

July 2, 2014

Investigating the Montgomery Bus Boycott

In May shortly after returning to the classroom from covering a maternity leave elsewhere in the building. I facilitated student inquiry into the Montgomery Bus Boycott using SHEG’s activity  I had been out when the trimester began and had not taught US History earlier this year.  So, the students were all new to me, and it was […]

Assessment,History,Uncovering History

May 1, 2014

How to Assess Historical Thinking

Contribution to April’s History Blog Circle: Historical thinking is important, but it’s hard, even “unnatural”.   Likewise, assessing historical thinking is daunting, but very necessary.  Both doing and assessing historical thinking require practice.  Lots of it.  This practice is worthwhile because reading and writing like historians are skills that students will use in college, career, and civic […]