Eyewitness to the Past: Strategies for Teaching American History in Grades 5-12

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Stenhouse Publishers, Jan 1, 2007 - Education - 235 pages
2 Reviews

Throughout history, people have often expressed controversial and conflicting interpretations of current events. In this unique resource, Joan Brodsky Schur reveals how compelling and engaging the study of history becomes when students use documents to imagine living through events in American history.

Eyewitness to the Past examines six types of primary sources: diaries, travelogues, letters, news articles, speeches, and scrapbooks. Teachers will find interactive strategies to help students analyze the unique properties of each, and apply to them their own written work and oral argument. Students learn to express opposing viewpoints in documents, classroom interactions, and simulations such as staging congressional hearings, elections, or protests. They build crucial analytical thinking and presentation skills. Used together, the six strategies offer a varied and cohesive structure for studying the American past that reinforces material in the textbook, encourages creativity, activates different learning styles, and strengthens cognitive skills.

Each chapter provides detailed instructions for implementing an eyewitness strategy set in a specific era of American history, and includes extensions for adapting the strategy to other time periods. In addition to the primary sources included in the book, examples of student work are presented throughout to aid teachers in evaluating the work of their own students. Rubrics and a list of resources are offered for each eyewitness strategy.


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User Review  - davidloertscher - LibraryThing

I ran across a letter from a Mormon woman in the latter part of the 19th century back to her sister in England. In the letter, she described the community, the land, and their living conditions trying ... Read full review

Review: Eyewitness to the Past: Strategies for Teaching American History in Grades 5-12

User Review  - Tara - Goodreads

This is a great book for history teachers! I wish I'd had it to read and learn from when I was still in the classroom. Lots of great ideas and really engaging strategies. Read it and use it! Read full review


Chapter 1 History from the Eyewitness Viewpoint
Writing from Opposing Viewpoints
Eyewitness Perspectives on a Growing Nation
Arguing the Past in Written Correspondence
Conflicting Accounts of the Same Events
Advocating for Your Candidate
Documenting the Past Across Time
Document Analysis Worksheets

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About the author (2007)

Joan Brodsky Schur is the social studies coordinator at the Village Community School in New York City where she has taught American history and English for over twenty-five years.

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