Doing History

Is history a noun or a verb? How a teacher answers this question can be seen in what goes on in his or her classroom.  If you want to develop the minds of youth who are capable of thinking critically about the relationship between the past and the present, then don’t teach history to students. Instead teach students to do history.  Read more

Book cover: Separate is Never Equal. Sylvia Mendez and her Family's Fight for Desegregation

Teaching School Desegregation through the Story of Sylvia Mendez

Picture books are powerful teaching tools, not just for elementary kids but for older readers as well. I have taught, read, and written about American history for decades, but it took a picture book to introduce me to the Mendez family and their fight for school integration.

Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh explores a legal case I’d wager is not taught in many history classes. It should be. Read more

Human Flesh–The Cure for What Ails You

Feeling a little under the weather? I’ve got just the thing. I’m currently writing four books in a series with very tight deadlines so I have not had time to post on my blog. However, I had to take a minute out to share this. The current book I’m writing is about grave robberies. In my research, I stumbled across this tasty tidbit (pun intended).

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Myth Buster: What Caused the Civil War?

More than 150 years after the Civil War, Americans don’t understand what caused this pivotal conflict. You can hear the ignorance in the debates we have about the Confederate flag and statues of Confederate generals.

In 2015, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll to explore Americans’ beliefs about the war. The results indicated that 48% of Americans believe the southern states seceded because of states’ rights and 38% of people believe the South seceded over slavery. So who’s right?

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Time Traveler’s Tool Box: Synthesis and Inference Activity

In honor of my favorite president–Mr. Lincoln–here is an activity that gives student historians practice dissecting primary sources, extracting meaning from them, and communicating that meaning in a coherent paragraph. In commemoration of Black History Month, the subject of Lincoln’s words is slavery. Read more

Tool box drawing

Time Traveler’s Tool Box: Questioning

Have you always wanted to travel back in time? It’s possible, you know. Historians know the secret.

A historian is a time traveling detective whose job is to solve mysteries of the past. But you don’t have to be a historian to transport to another era. Anyone can do it with a bit of practice and a Time Traveler’s Tool Box.

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