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Teaching students how to write a Historiography is important. It teaches them about previous historical literature, debates within historical circles and how to analyze historical claims and evidence. As an introduction to APUSH (after we cover pre-columbian Civilizations) students will examine the historical literature on Christopher Columbus and write a mini- five paragraph essay after they create an annotated bibliography.
I have three important goals for this lesson: 1) Show how history is not Static- it can change, and it changes for specific contextual reasons and as historians we need to be conscious of that when we read primary and secondary sources 2) How to cite Historical Evidence 3) How to analyze historical arguments and 4) practice crafting a thesis. This is just getting our feet wet for more complex historical analysis.
1. Open up the assignment with a group discussion on Columbus. Pose additional questions to class: "Does History change?" "Who writes history?"
2. As a class analyze and annotate "The Youth's Companion, 1892" discuss as a class
3. Break up class into groups of 3-4 and have students work on the annotated bibliography together. Come back as a class and compare notes and findings.
4. Assign independent work: Drafting essay and schedule 1:1 sessions with students who need more individualized support and feedback.