“Teaching U.S. History Through a Trauma Lens,” MiddleWeb

In our first conversation, “Teaching U.S. History in Turbulent Times,” we left off by discussing which primary sources are most effective for conveying empathy and gravitas in history lessons. This leads into another topic that has gripped me lately: how to sufficiently teach about systemic racism and oppression without making this lens the only way students see history. When I co-taught Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give with my partner English teacher… Continue reading

“A Reformers Unit That Celebrates Activism,” MiddleWeb

My absolute favorite unit, a “reformer from our history” research paper and campaign, is the only one I’ve done every spring through seven years of teaching U.S. history to eighth graders. It focuses on resilience, activism, determination. It celebrates rather than eulogizes. Through their research, students see themselves in history… Continue reading

“Teaching U.S. History in Turbulent Times,” MiddleWeb

The protests that have been occurring across the country since the killing of George Floyd have led us once again to ask how best to teach U.S. history. These are issues that we have wrestled with throughout most of our careers, but recent events bring them to the forefront. A traditional blog post – with just one voice – is challenging to write at the moment because it presumes that we have answers. We don’t. Instead, we decided to get together and… Continue reading

“Changemaker Questions Spark Student Learning,” MiddleWeb

When I walked into a one-hour session at the most recent National Council for the Social Studies annual conference – a mega-gathering with ideas and fellow teachers spilling from every corner, not to mention a celebrity sighting of Constitution USA guru Peter Sagal – I didn’t expect to walk out ready to transform… Continue reading