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Historical Thinking - A Review. History vs. Past. Past History Historical Thinking. Step 1: Write Everything you remember about the 1 st day of school. (5 minutes – use Point form). Step 2 Share Stories What were some differences? Why do those differences occur?.

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Historical Thinking

step 1 write everything you remember about the 1 st day of school 5 minutes use point form
Step 1:Write Everything you remember about the 1st day of school. (5 minutes – use Point form)

Step 2

  • Share Stories
  • What were some differences?
  • Why do those differences occur?

Step 3Think about the last 24 hours. What do you have of evidence that the event occurred?Example:I ate breakfast. Evidence: a Dirty bowl in the sinkI went to a play.Evidence: Ticket stubs from the Roxy Theatre


Go back to the activity where you wrote what happened the first day of school.

Let’s say I was a new person coming here and wanted to know what our 1st day of school was like – what would you tell me about the important parts of that day?

We just compared past and history.


Past is everything that happened.

History is the telling of a story. The storyteller picks some past events and writes or tells about it.

“His” - “Story”

A Social Studies textbook only explains some of someone’s story.

– Only some perspectives are shown because we don’t have all the evidence and there is just too much to include all of it.

Our understanding of the “evidence” can change.

historical thinking concepts
Historical Thinking Concepts

There are six of them….

historical significance how do we know something is historically significant
Historical SignificanceHow do we know something is Historically Significant?
  • Quantity: Affects a lot of people over a long period of time
  • Profundity: The effects are great
  • Durability: Changes have lasted a long time.
primary sources
Primary Sources
  • Primary sources are first hand accounts; secondary sources are when someone else tells you about something. Like going to a movie versus someone telling you about a movie.
  • This includes how to find, select, interpret, and use primary sources (first hand accounts) in context of when they occurred (not judging them based on our time)
  • When looking at primary sources we need to ask:
    • What type of evidence is it?
    • Who wrote or produced it?
    • What was the context it was taken from?
    • What new learning occurred about the historical setting because you looked at the primary source?
continuity and change
Continuity and Change
  • In history, something is always changing and something is always staying the same – they are interrelated. It is not a series of events.
  • Some things change more quickly than others. The turning or tipping points help us to identify the changes.
  • Progress and decline are part of it – some changes are for the good; some are not.
  • While you don’t need to memorize dates, you do need to understand the order of events (chronology) to understand change and continuity.
  • We tend to organize things into time periods to better understand them.
cause and consequence
Cause and Consequence
  • Historical Timeline – One or many thing leads to the next one or many things
  • Human beings cause historical change, but their influence is limited by the context they are in (i.e. the natural environment, geography, other people who want other things, etc.) It is an interaction between man and the conditions in which they live.
historical perspective
Historical Perspective
  • “The past is a foreign country”
  • Step our from where we are and understand where they were at (using evidence to understand). We try not to put our ideas on something that happened in the past where the ideas were different.
  • You do not have to agree with the perspective of the people of the past, but you do try to understand why they would have that perspective.
moral dimension
Moral Dimension
  • We cannot avoid judging the past but have to be aware of our judgments and separate them from our interpretations.
    • Don’t judge on what we believe today but what they believed then
    • One day people in the future will look at us and say we did things wrong.
historical evidence primary sources
Historical Evidence (Primary Sources)
  • What was some of the evidence you left about the events you did in the last 24 hours?
  • Was is accidental or intentional?

Example: Intentional > Leaving a note for someone

Accidental > Hitler > evidence of concentration camps

the sopranos
The Sopranos
  • Sometimes we think when things are written or on video its truth.
  • This episode from the show “The Sopranos” demonstrates how our present understanding and self –perceptions depend on the past events and our interpretations of them.
  • Before we start – Who was Christopher Columbus?