History Classroom: A Case Study

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A history classroom is unlike most others in a high school setting. Topics covered in August and September, although not close in historical time, relate very closely to those taught in April and May. For example, the Progressive Era of the early 1900s ties directly to governmental actions of the 2000s. While other topics build on each other, few of them are as intertwined and long running as history. Therefore, literacy in a history classroom is extremely important for student success. Historical literacy requires students to read a document, analyze the writer’s stance and connect it to the subject at large. While this can be difficult with English speaking students, it can be made even more challenging when there are English language learning (ELL) students in the classroom. In order to study strategies that would benefit both ELL and English speaking students, Carpenter (2014) studied at risk …show more content…
Specifically, students who were considered “at risk” by administrators. As Carpenter (2014) states, “Doing history involves close reading and evaluation of texts, making connections across texts, and constructing meanings by juxtaposing a series of texts to construct arguments” (p. 1). This issue is compounded students struggle with English or speak it as a secondary language. To resolve this issue, the case study focused on individual words and sentences within the works. This assured that students would not feel “overwhelmed” by attempting to digest the entire text and made it easier, in the case of the first lesson, to compare and contrast two larger, complex, documents. Additionally, in the second lesson, they concentrated on specific word usage in order to better understand how, and why, authors try to influence readers. In both cases, they were successful in aiding students to understand the works and think critically about the

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