How to Embed Literacy Skills in Historical Thinking

» 09 September 2015 » In Events, History / DBQ's, How To, Literacy, PD » No Comments

The_Magdalen_Reading_-_Rogier_van_der_WeydenSoon I'll be giving workshops demonstrating how to integrate literacy skills for close reading with historical thinking skills. Here's a preview.

What do we mean by historical thinking?  It's the historian's version of critical thinking: 

  • Examine and analyze primary sources - who created it, when, for what purpose?
  • Understand historical context. Compare multiple accounts and perspectives.
  • Take a position and defend it with evidence.

What do we mean by close reading? Teachers can guide students with scaffolding questions that explore "texts" (in all their forms).

  • Key Ideas and Details:
 What does the text say? Identify the key ideas. What claims does the author make? What evidence does the author use to support those claims?
  • Craft and Structure:
 Who created the document? What's their point of view / purpose? How did the text say it? How does it reflect its historic time period?
  • Integration of Knowledge and ideas: 
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text. Recognize disparities between multiple accounts. Compare text to other media / genres. How does it connect to what we’re learning? 
And what's it mean to me? 

Let's look at how a close reading of historical sources for craft and structure can integrate with the historical skill of sourcing  - who created it, when, for what purpose?

Here's a great illustration of historical sourcing from Stanford History Education Group's Beyond the Bubble.

And here's an exercise I used with teachers at a workshop this past summer. Here's the instructions they were given:

  1. Create and post a source comparison. Be sure to include: Historical question and two sample sources. 
  2. Once other workshop members have posted their source comparison questions, use their content to answer the question: “Which do you trust more? Why?”
  3. Feel free to add multiple answers to the same question and / or comment on each others question / or answer. It’s a dialogue.

Here's a Google doc with my prompts and teacher responses. 

Image Source: Rogier van der Weyden, Detail from The Magdalen Reading, c. 1435–1438. National Gallery, London

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PD Should Model What You Want To See in the Classroom

» 05 August 2015 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, PD, Projects, Publishing, Teachers » 1 Comment


Here’s how a Library of Congress-funded PD session incorporated flipped/ blended learning, PBL, collaborative Google tools. Free iBook and PDF for download with all course content and showcase iBook “The Student As Historian ~ Teaching with Primary Sources from the Library of Congress”

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Flip PD with Versal and Create More Collaboration Time

» 01 July 2015 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, Teachers, Web 2.0 » 1 Comment


Here’s how I used Versal (a free LMS) to flip a portion of my Library of Congress-funded summer teachers’ workshop.

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Teacher’s Guide to Ed Design

» 23 June 2015 » In Ed Tech, How To, Presentations » No Comments


I’m pleased to be presenting at the Devsigner Conference in Portland Ore June 27-28. My session will offer perspectives on designing engaging learning experiences that motivate students, provoke their reflections and monitor their progress as learners.

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How to Find Primary Source Documents

» 09 June 2015 » In Events, History / DBQ's, How To, PD » No Comments


Finding online documents can a challenge, so I put together a 12-min video of three search strategies that I find effective – locating curated content, using the native LOC search tools and using a search operator. []

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How to Create Interactive eBooks with iBooks Author

» 29 April 2015 » In Ed Tech, How To, Presentations, Publishing » No Comments


I’m offering an iBooks Author training session for faculty at the University of Portland. Here’s two videos that demonstrate interactivity of iBA widgets and how easy it is to input content into your iBook.

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How to Tweet Live Video of Your Presentation with Meerkat

» 25 March 2015 » In Ed Tech, Events, How To, PD, Presentations, Publishing, Visualizations » No Comments


Thinking of trying Meerkat. Here’s my step-by-step set up for using Meerkat to livestream a presentation or event via Twitter. Tips and tricks to make your Meerkast a success.

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Teaching Politics, Controversy, Engagement – #sschat 11/3/14

» 30 October 2014 » In Ed Tech, Events, How To, Social Web » No Comments


Join my EdMethods as the co-hosts of Twitter #sschat on Monday November 3, 2014 from 7-8 PM (eastern). That night is election eve ’14 and our topic will be very timely – “Teaching Politics, Controversy and Civic Engagement.”

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America Divided: Teaching Media Literacy and Political Polarization

» 21 October 2014 » In How To, Strategies » No Comments


Survey tools and interactive data visualization for teaching media literacy and political polarization in America. Based on research by Pew Research Center.

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Thinking Like A Historian: Student-Designed Lessons

» 02 October 2014 » In Ed Tech, History / DBQ's, How To, Students » No Comments


Over the last few weeks my University of Portland EdMethods students have been designing lessons in historical thinking skills based on the work of Sam Wineburg and the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG). They focussed on three key skills – Sourcing, Contextualizing and Corroborating.

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