November 15 - Session - 5:15-6:15 Secondary Level – High School U.S. History This thematic approach to teaching secondary United States History connects the past to the present by placing an emphasis on the acquisition of higher-order thinking and reasoning skills. Presenters: Joe Soss Shandon Nixon Anne Pasco A Thematic Approach to U.S. History The Role of American Government America’s Changing Demographics The American Stratification of American Expansionism Society A Thematic Approach to U.S. History Insurrection In America Mobilization Of America America’s Relationship with the World Necessities of a Powerful Curriculum Appropriate Content (Standards based) Development of Skills (Defined and Chronicled Approach) Relevance To Today (Essential Questions) The Real Question Chronological or Thematic? Chronological vs. Thematic Chronological • Perhaps reaching the present by end of school year • History as names and dates • Question of relevance • Events seem equally important Thematic • Reaching the present in the first few weeks of class • History as a story • Topics can revolve around an essential question that is relevant to today • Teacher prioritizes events/facts http://www.socialstudies.com/c/[email protected][email protected]_JlDVTnclG2 Elements of a Thematic Lesson • The Essential Question • Content Based Objectives • Bell Work (The Hook) • Skill Based Objective • Instructional Methods • Assessment The Essential Question • Questions that probe for deeper meaning and set the stage for further questioning, ones that foster the development of critical thinking skills and higher order capabilities such as problemsolving and understanding complex systems. • A good essential question is the principal component of designing inquiry-based learning. (http://mathstar.nmsu.edu/exploration1/unit/content_questions.html) Essential Questions per Theme • The Role of Government – What is the purpose of government? – What are the different approaches to governing? – What is the responsibility of government? – How should government protect its citizens from threats? – What are the strengths and pitfalls of democracy? Essential Questions per Theme • America’s Changing Demographics – What does it mean to be an American? – Why do people migrate/immigrate? – What shapes American immigration policy? – How does immigration impact American society? – How does migration impact American society? Essential Questions per Theme • Stratification of American Society – How does America group its citizens? – What factors have determined the placement of groups within American society? – How has the American government addressed issues of stratification between groups? – How have individuals responded to discrimination? Essential Questions per Theme • Insurrection in America – What issues have caused insurrection? – How have Americans expressed their discontent with government policy? – How has the American government responded to insurrections? Essential Questions per Theme • American Expansionism – How has territorial expansion been justified? – What factors promote continental expansion? – What factors promote overseas expansion? – What responsibility does America have towards the inhabitants of newly acquired territories? Essential Questions per Theme • Mobilization of America – What motivates American engagement in military conflict? – How does war impact Americans on the home front? – What factors determine the outcome of war? Essential Questions per Theme • America’s Relationship with the World – What should America’s world be in the world? – Should American self interest take priority over the interest of the world? – How has America’s role in the world changed over time?