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Past, Present & Personal

Teaching Writing in U.S. History

By William Kashatus
Foreword by Gary B. Nash

    This book provides precise blueprints for teaching teenagers to write in U.S. history classes. It does so with spirit, self-criticism, imagination, and good humor. Above all, [it] can inspire teachers to bring their classrooms alive . . .
    —Gary B. Nash, Director, National Center for History in the Schools

William Kashatus knows from years of teaching history that history education can be much improved by teaching the craft of writing. Without learning to write well, students also miss out on one of the most meaningful ways to develop critical thinking and reading skills. In this book,...

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    This book provides precise blueprints for teaching teenagers to write in U.S. history classes. It does so with spirit, self-criticism, imagination, and good humor. Above all, [it] can inspire teachers to bring their classrooms alive . . .
    —Gary B. Nash, Director, National Center for History in the Schools

William Kashatus knows from years of teaching history that history education can be much improved by teaching the craft of writing. Without learning to write well, students also miss out on one of the most meaningful ways to develop critical thinking and reading skills. In this book, he offers methods to move students from basic descriptive writing to more complex expository essays and term papers on history. In the process, he shows teachers how to tap into students' multiple intelligences and cultivate their intellectual curiosity while encouraging their writing success.

Reflecting his title, Kashatus divides his book into three parts. "Past History" explores interpretation and assessment of historic documents. "Present History" examines research-based writing. "Personal History" offers experiential techniques to create a "living history classroom." Interspersed throughout his text are these special features to help in your teaching:

  • primary source documents
  • speech excerpts
  • student writing samples
  • diagrams to aid visual learners
  • charts for in-class exercises
  • anecdotes about working with student writers.
Create a more engaging history classroom—with more literate class participants. Replace the dry term paper with meaningful writing projects. Read Kashatus and see how.

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Contents

Contents:
I. Past History—Teaching with Documents
II. Present History—Position and Local History Research Papers
III. Personal History—Teaching Methods That Inspire Other Genres of Historical Writing

Samples