Share a topic from class this week. What's one thing you did with students that you will or will not do again?
As we started our exploration of US history, we began by talking about pre-colonization and the age of exploration. The deal and the promise I made to my students (sophomores) is that I would work as hard as they did to catch on to the content, and we started on our way.
At the end of our lesson we started working with primary source documents, and there are several resources that I have used before, that I will use again. The first thing we did was analyze two charts looking at the rise and fall of Indian vs Non-Indian populations, with little outside information, and zero explanation on how to work with a document. There were three questions for the students to answer, and they discussed their answers.
As a class, we did not discuss any of their answers, but I asked questions of how the students used the documents. The answers were simply, "we looked at the graph, and answered the questions." We began talking about how to analyze documents by turning to some of the SHEG "Thinking Like a Historian Curriculum." If you have never used any of these resources, and you teach any Social Science class, you are clearly missing out.
We talked about the necessity of first sourcing a document, and questioning how the individual's identity, or as a colleague discusses, CORNPEG (Class, Occupation, Religion, Nationality, Political Affiliation, Ethnicity, Gender), and how those categories impact their writing/account/retelling of an event.
The second concept we discussed (since we worked with a non-text document) is corroborating evidence. To do so, we compared the charts to a video from Crash Course on the Spanish and relations with Natives.
These document skills are something that I am going to work on building throughout the semester. If anyone has any suggestions or resources to send my way, please feel free to add some comments!