History Lessons Blend Content Knowledge, Literacy

Shilpa Duvoor reviews primary source documents with
her 7th and 8th grade students during a lesson on
American slavery during summer school at
Sunnyvale Middle School in Sunnyvale, Calif.
—Ramin Rahimian for Education Week

Common standards could drive approach

For years, bands of educators have been trying to free history instruction from the mire of memorization and propel it instead with the kinds of inquiry that drive historians themselves. Now, the common-core standards may offer more impetus for districts and schools to adopt that brand of instruction.

A study of one such approach suggests that it can yield a triple academic benefit: It can deepen students’ content knowledge, help them think like historians, and also build their reading comprehension.

The Reading Like a Historian program, a set of 75 free secondary school lessons in U.S. history, is getting a new wave of attention as teachers adapt to the Common Core State Standards in English/language arts.

Those guidelines, adopted by all but four states, demand that teachers of all subjects help students learn to master challenging nonfiction and build strong...

Read more at EducationWeek.org