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Teaching State History

By Ava L McCall, Thelma Ristow

Teaching State History shows teachers how to plan a state unit using a culturally relevant, social constructivist pedagogy with connections to literacy, a focus on multicultural teaching, and compliance with state and national standards.

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Full Description

Create a complete curriculum around your state.
Include the ten thematic strands in the social studies standards.
Balance those standards with a multicultural perspective.

State history is a required component of the upper elementary social studies curriculum in all 50 states. Yet few resources exist on the subject, particularly in the areas of teaching methods, strategies, and pedagogies that are applicable to classrooms across the country. This book changes that—it shows teachers how to plan a state unit using a culturally relevant, social constructivist pedagogy with connections to literacy, a focus on multicultural teaching, and compliance with state and national standards.

The text offers specific examples of the curricular framework in action, portraying teaching strategies and students' responses to topics that range from the process of becoming a state, the first inhabitants of the state, state government, state industries, and family histories to even more challenging subjects including treaties with Native Americans and the struggle for voting rights. Each chapter opens with a classroom vignette illustrating the curricular framework. Within each chapter, teachers can find:

  • descriptions of resources—trade books, state history publications, photographs, artifacts, and simulations
  • teacher-created materials when published examples are unavailable
  • in-depth descriptions of classroom activities in action—small-group research, literature circles, history workshops, dramatizations, and more
  • "Focus on Your State" sections with suggestions for locating resources and creating materials specific to your state
  • quotes from students revealing what they learned about state history.
Encourage students to see themselves and their families as part of their own state history. Have them learn about and appreciate their state's cultural diversity. Show them that state history is ultimately about them.

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Contents

1. Creating State History Curriculum
2. Integrating Family History with State History
3. Learning About the First People in the State: Traditions and Conflicts
4. Exploring Diverse Perspectives on Becoming a State and on Voting Rights
5. Learning About State Industries
6. Teaching for Learning, Learning from Teaching

Samples