Using History to Invigorate Common-Core Lessons
Sam Wineburg, an expert in historical thinking and a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, writes that use of historical text in the classroom will help achieve the Common Core standards. Historical text is “letters, diaries, secret communiqués, official promulgations, public speeches, and the like,” not a history textbook. Importantly, historical text is informational text, and it exposes students to a variety of topics and complexity. In addition, close reading is at the heart of reading and understanding historical text. Wineburg’s last point is that knowing how to read and analyze historical text gives students the ability to question the veracity of informational text, a much needed skill especially in a world now dominated with information (e.g., content found on the internet).