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Bring history to life with these classroom-ready materials and resources!
* Classroom community is fostered as learners discover similarities as well as differences in their backgrounds.
* Build upon the child's own cultural learning and experience to empower them as learners.
* Portray history as experiences, not as facts, to facilitate thinking and reasoning skills, enhance sense of self-worth, and pique their curiosity.
Consider what a difficult concept historical time is for young children. Children in the early grades are often unable to comprehend distinctions between decades and centuries. By the intermediate and middle grades, students have begun to make sense of historical time, but find the study of history itself remote and irrelevant to their own lives. Teachers must make every effort to portray them as experiences, not just facts. The portrayal of history as experience brings history to life, creating a learning environment where students find the study of history meaningful and fascinating at the same time. The thematic curriculum strands allow children to include themselves and their families in their growing understanding of history as relevant and alive. Thematic strands include: Culture; Time, Continuity, and Change; People, Places, and Environments; and Individual Development and Identity.
M. Gail Hickey is the Associate Professor of Education at Indiana University--Purdue University, Fort Wayne. In addition to teaching elementary social studies methods courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, she directs a gifted and talented endorsement program, supervises field interns, and conducts field research.