DL in History

Links on disciplinary literacy in history

A large part of disciplinary literacy in subject areas is to teach students how to read, write, speak, and think as a person in that area.  In order for students to be able to understand history, for example, they must be able to read and interpret history critical texts, write and explain historical concepts and think about issues and events from a historians' point of view.  Being able to take these steps leads to deeper and more meaningful learning in the subject area. 


The Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History has an entire site dedicated to the History portion of the Literacy standards.  Loads of information - lesson ideas - primary sources. 


Wisconsin authors Dr. Bobbie Malone and Dr. Nikki Mandell wrote the Thinking Like a Historian framework for historical thinking, interpretation and literacy.  It outlines five inquiry categories that should be taken into account when analyzing data as a historian.  This is a strong resource for historical disciplinary literacy.  Information includes What Questions do we ask of the Past? and the chart for TLH with the inquiry connections.


Wisconsin teacher Angie Bazan researched the efficacy of the Thinking Like a Historian framework.  In her action research project, she implemented the core ideas of TLH and measured student understanding through pre- and post-tests.  Students showed an increase in understanding of key TLH concepts and the historical process overall.  There were increases between 21% and 68% of student understanding and ability to apply concepts, and student ability to understand two concepts (Cause and Effect and Through Their Eyes) increased to 100%.  (Information taken from "Creating a Historically Literate Classroom:  Teaching Students to Think Like a Historian", Angela Bazan, 2011). 

Wisconsin:  Our State, Our Story is outlined in this video by the author, Dr. Bobbie Malone, former Director of School Services at the Wisconsin Historical Society.  This state history textbook for elementary students is based on the Teaching Like a Historian framework, and Dr. Malone gives a great overview of the program in this set of videos.  Part I   Part II  Part III  Part IV


Information from the state of Maryland - what has their Dept of Ed written and provided to their social studies teachers?  Here is a rubric for writing, and information on how to use historical investigations in the classroom. 


Reading Like a Historian approach from the Stanford Education Group (video)


Historical literacy
is defined as gaining a deep understanding of historical events through active engagement with historical texts (The Historical Thinking Project).



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