Why Teach History?

A Website for James L. Smith

8 Ways to Help Students Develop Historical Thinking Skills
by James L. Smith

No consensus exists on the
definition of "historical" thinking. However, teachers who incorporate the following eight strategies into their curriculum will be helping students develop historical thinking skills, by any definition.

1. Examine primary sources.

2. Examine secondary sources (discuss historiography).

3. Analyze cause and effect in history.

4. Identify patterns, themes, and recurring issues in history.

5. Categorize and compartmentalize historical information.

6. Compare and contrast two or more historical topics.

7. Place information in historical context.

8. Develop academic arguments in writing.

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