Teaching State History: A Guide to Developing a Multicultural Curriculum

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9780325004822: Teaching State History: A Guide to Developing a Multicultural Curriculum
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Create a complete curriculum around your state.
Include the ten thematic strands in the social studies standards.
Balance those standards with a multicultural perspective.

State history is a required component of the upper elementary social studies curriculum in all 50 states. Yet few resources exist on the subject, particularly in the areas of teaching methods, strategies, and pedagogies that are applicable to classrooms across the country. This book changes that-it shows teachers how to plan a state unit using a culturally relevant, social constructivist pedagogy with connections to literacy, a focus on multicultural teaching, and compliance with state and national standards.

The text offers specific examples of the curricular framework in action, portraying teaching strategies and students' responses to topics that range from the process of becoming a state, the first inhabitants of the state, state government, state industries, and family histories to even more challenging subjects including treaties with Native Americans and the struggle for voting rights. Each chapter opens with a classroom vignette illustrating the curricular framework. Within each chapter, teachers can find:

  • descriptions of resources-trade books, state history publications, photographs, artifacts, and simulations
  • teacher-created materials when published examples are unavailable
  • in-depth descriptions of classroom activities in action-small-group research, literature circles, history workshops, dramatizations, and more
  • "Focus on Your State" sections with suggestions for locating resources and creating materials specific to your state
  • quotes from students revealing what they learned about state history.
Encourage students to see themselves and their families as part of their own state history. Have them learn about and appreciate their state's cultural diversity. Show them that state history is ultimately about them.

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About the Author:

Ava L. McCall is Professor and Chair of the Curriculum and Instruction Department at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. She has 13 years of elementary teaching experience, plus 15 years of experience in university teacher education, primarily teaching social studies methods. Thelma Ristow is a fourth grade teacher at Webster Stanley Elementary School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and a peer coach for initial educators in the Oshkosh Area School District. She has more than 30 years of elementary teaching experience.

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