How to Read Like a Historian

Getting Students to Think Like Historians

Mini DBQs

The Teaching Channel – How to Read Like a Historian


War from the Soldier’s Perspective — A Common Core-Aligned Series of Lessons

Curriculum Guides and Units

Forget What You Know About History







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TEDEd sample lesson – Why Do We Vote on Tuesday?
What Really Happened in Boston?
The Trial of the British Soldiers of the 29th Regiment of Foot
Boston Massacre Trial
Account of the Events at Lexington Green
Lincoln’s Pockets
Library of Congress Lincoln Pocket video
Lincoln’s Pocket lesson plan
Slavery quotes

Kansas State History/Government Standards
Latest versions can be found at KSDE
Useful Common Core sites

Grades 6-12 Literacy in the Social Studies
Common Core State Standards Initiative
Let’s start with the basics. These are the things that are expected to happen at the secondary level. Be sure to browse through the Anchor standards as well as the various grade level bands. Also be sure to look at Appendix B and C – B provoides a powerful list of things for kids to read and suggestions of classroom projects. Appendix C provides a sample of student writings by grade level. Here’s the cool thing – do you see anything in the list at your grade level that we don’t want kids doing in a social studies classroom? Exactly.
Trickle or Tsunami?: Getting Involved with the Common Core Standards
National History Education Clearinghouse
Daisy Martin is the Director of History Education at the NHEC and does a great job of unpacking the Common Core literacy pieces for you. She provides specific examples and rational while calming us all down by letting us know that we’ve been doing this all along:

Is this sounding familiar? In fact, the six facets of historical thinking in our What is Historical Thinking video and poster focus on these kinds of disciplinary skills.

Teaching the Common Core
Tim Bailey was the 2009 Gilder Lehrman History Teacher of the Year and is a middle school teacher in Salt Lake City. He’s one of those guys who does social studies right. He has his kids read, write, argue, analyze, ask questions, and construct new knowledge. In this article, Tim talks about some of the ways he does this:

the Common Core Standards emphasize analyzing, evaluating, and then critically writing about a historical piece by using evidence and information gleaned from the text. This kind of deep analysis, and eventual deep understanding, of primary material is the culmination of a well-taught, process-oriented series of lessons or units.

And most importantly, he shares sample lessons that incorporate Common Core literacy pieces into social studies instruction.
What Do the Common Core State Standards Mean for History Teaching and Learning?
National History Education Clearinghouse
This NHEC article highlights a round table held late last year with teachers, curriculum directors, ed professors, and the director of the Common Core during which participants shared ideas, suggestions, and encouragement. Some veryuseful and practical advice here.
Reading Like A Historian
The Reading Like a Historian curriculum by the Stanford History Education Group engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features sets of primary documents modified for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities.
Beyond the Bubble
The Stanford History Education Group also created this incredibly useful assessment tool you can use to measure students ability to think historically.
Common Core Online
A handy ScoopIt curating Common Core stuff. Nice resource.
Teaching Channel: Common Core Videos
Useful collection of Common Core overviews and specific social studies lesson plan ideas.
Helping Students Meet the Reading Common Core State Standards in History/Social Studies and the Sciences – Webinar

An archive of an online presentation discussing how the Common Core Literacy Standards will affect you.
Engaging Students with Primary Sources
By focusing on the evidence itself—documents, objects, photographs, and oral histories—students can get a glimpse into the past beyond what a textbook can provide. Introducing your classes to primary sources and making them a regular part of classroom lessons help student develop critical thinking and deductive reasoning skills that will be useful throughout their lives.
Connecting Lessons to Common Core: Nationalistic Travel Brochures
Just found this site that focuses on high school world history. Michael has taken some of his current lessons and adapted to the Common Core. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the posts for more lessons.
Other Useful Sites & Tools

DocsTeach – (Common Core Alignment document)
Teaching with Primary Sources / Library of Congress
Google World Wonders Project
Historical Thinking Skills Interactives
KSHS / Read Kansas
You Are the Historian
Web Rangers
Teaching History
National Archives
NARA Primary Source Analysis Worksheets
Library of Congress
LOC Primary Source Analysis Worksheets
Historical Thinking Matters
Historical Scene Investigation
Teaching History with Technology

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