Historical Thinking Teacher PPT - University of California, Irvine

A partnership between Orange County Department of Education
and University of California, Irvine History Project
History as a Discipline
What is history?
History is a representation of the past based
upon interpretations of evidence (primary and
secondary sources) available. Therefore,
history is constructed knowledge.
Why do history?
History is not static. Historical representations
change over time.
 New evidence comes to light
 Changes in technology
 Present concerns inform the ways historians think
about the past
 As theories change, historians review existing
 Pose new questions.
How do students typically view history?
Students see history as the construction and
memorization of a “factoid narrative.”
Many see history as a finished story. It is names,
dates, and places.
See history as linear (one thing after another) and
progressive (things are getting better)
Students struggle with explaining change over
time and recognizing significance. Students also
magnify the role of individuals.
Students often personify history--For example,
China becomes a person.
Fail to see the relevance of history
Number off 1-5
1-How is Derek’s analysis an expression of historical empathy (page 8)?
Why is empathy important for history?
2-What do contemporary historians believe we can know about the past
(pages 10-11)?
3-What are the challenges of learning history from textbooks (pages
4-How does Ulrich’s A Midwife’s Tale contrast to textbook history (pages
5-How has historical writing changed in the last decades (page 15)?
All like numbers gather together and discuss your question
Form groups with numbers 1-5 and share out each of your answers
with the group
Historical Thinking
Historians in the Field
Students in the Classroom
Ask research questions
based upon new and
existing information
Students form and/or
answer research
questions of the
lesson’s content
Use primary and
secondary sources to
construct knowledge
Students use primary and
secondary sources to
make reasoned
interpretations and
construct knowledge
Why use historical thinking in teaching?
Inquiry based approach
 Builds on prior knowledge
 Motivates student learning
 In-depth understanding
 Prioritizes essential questions
 Students analyze evidence to construct new
 Develops critical thinking skills and academic literacy
Common Core Standards: Literacy in
History-Social Studies
Key Ideas and details
1.Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual
evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
2.Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and
3.Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Craft and Structure
4.Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative
meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
5.Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a
section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
6.Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
7.Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in
8.Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the
relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
9.Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the
approaches the authors take.
Range of Reading Level and Text Complexity
10.Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
adapted from History Project at UC Davis
According to the Library of Congress, primary
sources are the raw materials of history —
documents and objects which were created at the
time under study. They are different from secondary
sources - accounts or interpretations of events
created by someone without firsthand experience.
Some additional thoughts
Primary sources are materials produced by people or
groups directly involved in the event or topic under
consideration. Think of them as first-hand information.
Examples of primary sources include eyewitness accounts,
speeches, letters and diaries, newspapers and magazines,
tax and census data, marriage, birth and death records,
works of art, and interviews.
Secondary sources
Secondary sources construct an explanation of the
past based on primary sources and usually in
consultation with other secondary sources.
The best secondary sources will both report on events
in the past as well as generalize, analyze, interpret
and/or evaluate.
Sources may be both primary and secondary—
depending on your topic or question.
“Give us the tools,
and we will finish the
THE 6 C’S!!
What are we looking for the students to accomplish?
An accurate summary of the
source provided (who, what,
Accurate /thoughtful connections
made between source and what
was happening at that time and
place in history.
Bias and point of view are
clearly identified. Students
support their claims with
specific examples from source.
It is clear as to who created
this source, when it was
written, and what type of
source it is.
Interesting and thoughtful
connections made between the
source and what the students
already know, or what they can
relate it to.
Student provides a
thoughtful conclusion
that closely connects
to source
How can the 6C’s be practiced in the
Students might begin with 4 C’s
Students work in cooperative groups
(3-4 members), with each group
responsible for using one of the 6C’s to
analyze the source. Each group then
shares with the class their analysis of
the source, and the other students fill in
the sections of the 6 C’s as they are
discussed by each group.
Students work in cooperative groups (3
members). Each student within the
group is responsible for completing two
sections of the 6 C’s. They then share
their responses with the other group
members. Groups are then selected to
share their responses with the class.
Making Primary Source Analysis
Relevant for Students
Why is primary source analysis an important skill to
teach in the history classroom?
How will you explain the relevance of this skill to
Discuss in small groups
For January Meeting
Finish reading Chapter 1 on Wineburg
In January, teachers will implement:
primary vs. secondary source activity
 and 4 C’s or 6 C’s of Primary Source Analysis with one
primary source.

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