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Thinking Like a Historian Social Studies Video Series

Social Studies Labs with Bruce Lesh

Historical thinking and inquiry are central to effective social studies instruction. In order for students to think like historians, geographers, political scientists, and economists, classroom instruction should mimic the process and habits of minds of professionals in those fields. In this video series, Bruce Lesh, author of the book Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer?, shares research on historical inquiry, breaks down the process of thinking like a historian, and then models an inquiry lesson.

To view this Professional Learning Video Series in the embedded YouTube playlist below, click the menu in the upper-left corner of the video and select a playlist topic.

Playlist Topics

• Part 1 - What the Research Says about Student Retention of History
• Part 2 - Thinking Like a Historian
• Part 3 - Key Points about Labs
• Part 4 - Building an Argument
• Part 5 - Basic Elements of a Lab
• Part 6 - Model Lab
• Part 7 - Building Historical Literacy
• Part 8A - Creating a Good Essential/Central Question
• Part 8B - Creating a Good Essential/Central Question
• Part 9A - Analyzing Documents using a History Trial
• Part 9B - Analyzing Documents using a History Trial
• Part 10A - Supporting and Scaffolding Successful Inquiry
• Part 10B - Supporting and Scaffolding Successful Inquiry
• Part 11 - Building a Document Set

Frequently Asked Questions about Social Studies Labs with Bruce Lesh

Bruce Lesh is the Program Manager for the Maryland Department of Education and author of the book Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer? Over the last fifteen years, Bruce has refined a method of teaching history that mirrors the process used by historians, where students are taught to ask questions of evidence and develop historical explanations. Here are his answers to frequently asked topics and questions.

To view this Professional Learning Video Series in the embedded YouTube playlist below, click the menu in the upper-left corner of the video and select a playlist topic.

Playlist Topics 

• Part 1 - Adapting Sources
• Part 2 -  Benefits of Implementing History Labs
• Part 3 - Difference between Social Studies Labs and the DBQ
• Part 4 - Embracing Change
• Part 5 - Finding Resources
• Part 6A - Frequency of Social Studies Labs
• Part 6B - Frequency of Social Studies Labs
• Part 7 - Remarrying Literacy Skills to Social Studies
• Part 8 - Social Studies Lab Design
• Part 9 - Social Studies Lab Resources
• Part 10 - Source Material and Focused Writing
• Part 11 - Thinking Like a Historian
• Part 12 - Who can Benefit
• Part 13 - Building a Document Set

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