- close reading, specifically the process of analyzing the language, meaning, and in some cases, the silences in both accounts;
- attention to key source information, including who wrote each account, when, and for what purpose; and
- exploring how to make sense of multiple perspectives and conflicting accounts to try to understand a complex system that affected individuals in radically different ways."
I would encourage anyone interested in history, particularly those interested in "doing" history to browse through this wonderful website. What can be learned here is simply amazing.
In addition to all the great instruction and information, this fine website is also offering a wonderful teaching resource for free. They are providing a "Historical Thinking" poster (pictured above) to teachers. This fine poster is double-sided, with one side geared toward elementary age students while the other side is more middle school/high school friendly. The elementary side is headed by "Doing History is Like Solving a Mystery," and then has the historical question, "What did kids do in the 1850s?" It then explains, "Use these clues to ask and answer good questions." From there is gives helpful hints on what and where to look for primary and secondary sources to find an answer to the historical question. It continually suggests to ask questions about the sources you use, which of course, is very important in doing history. The side of the poster for older students is titled, "History is an argument about the past." It asks the question, "How do we know what we know about the past?" To answer this question it suggests, "Examine source information," "analyze primary sources," "read multiple accounts and perspectives," "use evidence to support claims," and "understand historical context." All of these are essential things for students (and teachers) to keep in mind while reading, writing, doing or presenting history. To get a free "Historical Thinking" poster, go to: http://teachinghistory.org/historical-thinking-poster-request