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Teaching U.S. History Thematically: Document-Based Lessons for the Secondary Classroom (Paperback)


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Teaching U.S. History Thematically: Document-Based Lessons for the Secondary Classroom Cover Image


This book offers the tools teachers need to get started with an innovative approach to teaching history, one that develops literacy and higher-order thinking skills, connects the past to students' lives today, and meets most state standards (grades 7-12).

The author provides over 60 primary sources organized into seven thematic units, each structured around an essential question from U.S. history. As students analyze carefully excerpted documents--speeches by presidents and protesters, Supreme Court cases, political cartoons--they build an understanding of how diverse historical figures have approached key issues. At the same time, students learn to participate in civic debates and develop their own views on what it means to be a 21st-century American. Each unit connects to current events and dynamic classroom activities make history come alive. In addition to the documents themselves, this teaching manual provides strategies to assess student learning; mini-lectures designed to introduce documents; activities to help students process, display, and integrate their learning; guidance to help teachers create their own units; and more.

Book Features:

  • A timely aid for secondary school teachers confronted with Common Core and other state-level quality requirements.
  • An approach that promotes student engagement and critical thinking to replace or augment a traditional textbook.
  • Challenges to the "master narrative" of U.S. history from figures like Sojourner Truth, Malcolm X, and Cesar Chavez, as well as traditionally recognized historical figures such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
  • Essential questions to help students explore seven of the most important recurring themes in U.S. history.
  • Role-plays and debates to promote interaction among students.
  • Printable copies of the documents included in the book can be downloaded at

About the Author

Rosalie Metro is an assistant teaching professor in the College of Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has taught U.S. and world history at the middle and high school levels.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780807758687
ISBN-10: 080775868X
Publisher: Teachers College Press
Publication Date: October 13th, 2017
Pages: 224
Language: English