7th Grade Social Studies Unit 3 "Thinking Like a Historian"
Unit 3: "Thinking Like a Historian" Why Become a Historian?Becoming a historian is fun!! The mystery in history brings out the detective in us; there are countless unsolved crimes and riddles and unresolved debates. Be nosy enough to want to put your two cents in and be concerned enough to care. It's fun to learn about people, both famous and ordinary. Because times are always changing, habits change, as do styles, customs, technology, and levels of knowledge. Enjoy learning about the human side of prominent people and about daily life during another time, in another culture. Tell stories and engage others' minds in constructive debate that leads to understanding and personal growth—theirs and yours; inform and learn. Turn skeptics (especially those who think history is boring or a waste of time) into believers. Light sparks and make a difference. Being a historian will help you enjoy life and to realize who you are. Activity 1: Think like a Historian-Perspective and Point of View is Important! For this first activity we will:
Work as a class and in small groups to discover the importance of perspective and point of view in history
Step One: Scenario Introduction Imagine that you are the director of the local county fair where the famous pie eating contest takes place.
You just found out that their was a massive outbreak of vomiting people during the pie eating contest this year.
You've asked many citizens and bystanders who witnessed this event to write down what they saw and what caused this event to occur.
Unfortunately, you have received many conflicting accounts that disagree about important details of the event, like:
why it started
when it started
who was involved
It's important to remember that NO ONE is lying. Step Two: Watch the unfortunate event
Step Five: Debrief Class Discussion Issues to discuss as a class:
Why might people see or remember things differently?
Would it make a difference where you were standing when reporting your story?
Would it make a difference if you had seen the young man drink the castor oil and the egg?
Time: Do stories change over time? How might we remember right after the event differ from what we remember a week later? Does time make the way someone remembers more or less trustworthy?
Lesson Two: What questions do we ask of the past? Historian Strategies Welcome to the world of investigative history. You will use the strategies learned in this activity to discover the past for the rest of the year. Step One: Solving the Puzzle Working with your group
Read through and think about the questions in the chart "What Questions Do We Ask of the Past?"
Empty the cards out of your teams envelop
Based on the questions, work with your group to come up with the best strategy title for each column.
Then look at the symbols, and pick the symbol that you think best matches the strategy and questions.
Step Two: Whole Group Chat Together through a class discussion, you will check to make sure you have the right strategy and symbol to go with the questions along with the appropriate color. You will fill in your chart with the correct information presented in the class discussion. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Activity Three: MODELING THE HISTORIAN STRATEGIES INVESTIGATING THE PESHTIGO FIRE Step One: Background Information Watch the short video Read the Background article
Step Two: Working together complete the Burning Questions Guide · Divide the first 5 strategies and questions up among your group members · Individually use the resources on the weebly to gather information and answer the questions on your assigned strategy. · When everyone is finished discuss the final strategy “Differing Perspectives” as a group - Make note of your discussion for sharing with the class.
Cause and Effect Using the information you have on the fire answer the following questions: What was the cause of this fire? What was the effect of a different fire on the same day on the understanding of this fire? What were some of the effects of this fire on the community and the state?
Change and Continuity Locate a present-day map of Peshtigo, at on online site (Google Earth). Does Peshtigo look the same as it did in 1871? 1881? What physical features does the city still retain from the rebuilding period after the fire?
Turning Point Think about this: In what ways was the fire a likely turning point in this community? Beyond this community? How did this event effect the future for the community after the fire? How does this event still impact the community and the surrounding area? What limits were put on the people of this community because of the fire?
Using the Past From looking at the birds-eye map of Peshtigo, describe the community as it existed in September 1871 before the great fire. What type of buildings do you think were located in the downtown area? How could a town be designed in the future to prepare for this type of disaster? How would things have been different if the businesses weren't all located in one place?
Through Their Eyes Click on the button below and read page nine of The Great Peshtigo Fire: An Eyewitness Account, Second Edition. How was the experience of the Peshtigo Fire remembered by Reverend Peter Pernin?
Differing Perspectives Together as a group, make a list of all of the perspectives that could exist on this topic. See if you can find some different perspectives on this topic and determine who you agree with most. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Activity Four: Research and Applying "Thinking Like a Historian" Strategies Objective: Students will research one of the following questions to find evidence in order to answer the "thinking like a historian" strategy questions.
You will need to answer 1 of the following 3 questions...Using the “thinking like a historian” questioning strategies.
Which sports clothing brand is most popular?
Which game system brand is most popular? Which (fast food) restaurant brand is most popular?
Directions: -You can work with a partner (one other person) or by yourself (if you are comfortable with that). -agree on 1 question from above -pick 1 question from above -Use all 6 strategies to help them explain your answers -You will do research on the internet to answer the strategy questions. -you will use these strategy questions you gather evidence to support you answer to the question above. -not all questions in a category will fit and/or be used, depends on the topic. -Will you use all 6 strategies as evidence to support your answer to one of the questions above.
Once you and your partner have answered these questions and found evidence for the "questions" above, we as a class will have a chance to present and possibly debate and/or defend you position on the chosen questions based on your evidence.