What is History Teaching?, pp. 8 of 10

Reconnaissance

Teachers should research the site they want to bring their students to, come up with an investigation and objectives and then do a reconnaissance of the site. They should then decide what activities they want the students to do on the site. Re-look your lesson objectives and align your activities in the field with your lesson objectives.

Step One – Pre-fieldtrip

You then start planning. Consider what students need to know in the introduction – if it is part of the syllabus, then it may be an activity to prepare them for the field trip – a starter activity. If the field investigation is an enrichment of the syllabus, ensure that there are introductory activities that help students to contextualize what they are doing. It is best to provide background information in the classroom and not in the field.

Step Two – In the Field

Remember in a field investigation, students should interact with the artefactual evidences and other sources on the site. They should not be spending their time listening to a mini-lecture on site.

Step Three – Post-investigation

Teachers should ensure that there is a proper conclusion to the field investigation when students are back in the classroom. Have students reflect on what they have learnt from their field study. They can also prepare an exhibition to share their findings with the school.

Video Showcasing an Exemplary History Lesson

You may want to look at this video (weblink below) to look at how this teacher conducts an in-class archaeological dig as well as address both substantive and syntactic concepts in history to help her students achieve historical understanding

in a series of lessons. http://learner.org/libraries/socialstudies/6_8/larsen/video.html

Below is the video summary. I have put in brackets some of the historical (substantive and syntactic) concepts that you will see in the video. You may want to watch the video and draw out more of the historical concepts that the teacher brings across in this series of lessons.

Explorations in Archaeology and History

Video Summary: How can ancient history and archaeology be brought to life in the classroom? To launch her lesson on world civilisations, Gwen Larsen begins by looking at each student's personal history. By taking on the roles of archaeologists (in-classroom field trip) and presenting their own heirlooms (artefacts and oral history), students learn how to decipher artefacts (use of evidence) and make connections to the past.

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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