As a child I loved story time, dreaming up, and writing my own stories of adventure. The older I got (and largely because of my 10th grade history teacher Miss. Ianni), the more I came to realize that studying history is like an adult story time. History has an important role to play in our present day context and much like the stories that were read to us as children, history books provide us with life lessons, wisdom, and real life moral connections. History is filled with rich stories of adventures, conquests, inventions and innovations, and human connections. More importantly, stories from the past can be used to understand present day social structures, political & judicial institutions, human relationships, social justice issues, etc. These stories allow us to understand how things have come to be, the battles individuals and groups of people have fought before us in an effort to evolve and grow as a human race.
Laura King, a journalist from The Guradian reminds us,
It (history) can improve understanding of how social change might be achieved, by examining how change happened in the past. It can be a tool to instigate that change in and of itself, as examples of what happened in the past can be used to explore controversial subjects such as euthanasia or abortion today. It can offer an examination of why the same failures keep happening.
Perhaps most of all, a longer-term historical perspective can be a huge resource in social justice and tackling inequality and discrimination – showing the long-term roots of a population, a movement, a type of behaviour or whatever else is so powerful.
I am passionate about history and feel fortunate that I have an opportunity to foster students exploration and inquiry into the past to help them make sense of the present.
A Curated List of Awesome History Resources
Awesome Stories – a website with great history stories in audio, visual, and text form
Big History Project – a journey through 13.8 billion years of history
Beyond the Bubble – a new generation of history assessments
Historical Thinking Matters – a website focused on key topics in U.S. history, that is designed to teach students how to critically read primary sources and how to critique and construct historical narratives
World History For All of Us – a website with detailed lesson plans covering all the world’s big historical eras. Produced by San Diego State and UCLA’s National Center for History in the Schools.
Reading Like a Historian – a website that engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features sets of primary documents modified for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities.
Teaching History – a website designed to help K–12 history teachers access resources and materials to improve U.S. history education in the classroom.
Zinn Education Project – a website that promotes and supports the teaching of people’s history in classrooms. Introduces students to a more accurate, complex, and engaging understanding of history than is found in traditional textbooks.