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Skills and Best Practices

Activity 1: Skills and Best Practices

Questioning Skills

In an article from the website below, Terry Robinson, a fifth-grade teacher for 16 years talks about the importance of “asking the right questions.” She cites the work of Wiggins and McTighe in stressing the importance of questions in moving students toward higher levels of understanding. Article: http://www.ncacasi.org

Specifically she urges educators to:

  • Ask questions that help students develop historical perspective, explain historical relationships and the significance of events, and analyze issues that affect the present and the future. Factual questions alone will not lead students to these higher levels of thinking.
  • Ask questions that help students understand the impact of people, ideas, and events.
  • Ask questions that require students to describe how they feel about key events.

Referring to the research of Wiggins and McTighe, she states:

“We may have gone far, geographically or figuratively–through lots of textbook pages–but that doesn’t mean we have derived great meaning or insight from our travels.”

Using Time Lines in Social Studies Instruction

Time lines can be used for a variety of instructional purposes including:

  • Establishing the sequence of events in history
  • Organizing information for research
  • Highlighting the most important events in history
  • Telling the story of people in a logical sequence

This site from Educator World, http://www.education-world.com, has a wealth of information on the use of time lines and provides examples of how to use time lines and where to find additional information about the use of time lines in instruction. For example, you will find:

  • Time line activities for all grade levels
  • Information on creating personal time lines
  • Ways to use time line to trace the personal life of individuals
  • Information on how to get started using time lines with your class
  • Some additional websites with information about time lines
  • Some excellent tips on using time lines.