History Class Revisited : Tools and Projects to Engage Middle School Students in Social Studies book cover
1st Edition

History Class Revisited
Tools and Projects to Engage Middle School Students in Social Studies

ISBN 9781138639713
Published May 12, 2016 by Routledge
166 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Learn new approaches to teaching history in middle school so students are more engaged in the big ideas and eager to examine the world around them. Co-published by Routledge and MiddleWeb, this practical guide will help you consider the unique needs of middle schoolers, who are in the midst of many social and emotional changes and need to see why the study of history matters to their own lives. Author Jody Passanisi shares helpful strategies and activities to make your social studies class a place where students can relate to the material, connect past history to present events, collaborate with others, think critically about important issues, and take ownership of their learning. Topics include:

  • Reading and analyzing primary and secondary sources for deeper comprehension of historical issues
  • Developing a written argument and defending it with supporting details and cited sources
  • Examining the social context of a historical event and tracing the historical underpinnings of present day issues
  • Using field trips, games, and Project Based Learning to make learning history a fun and interactive experience
  • Assessing your students’ progress using self-reflection, projects, essays, and presentations

The appendices offer resources for each of the topics covered in the book as well as reproducible Blackline Masters of the charts and diagrams, which can be photocopied or downloaded from our website (http://www.routledge.com/products/9781138639713) for classroom use.

Table of Contents

Meet the Author


Chapter 1: Introduction: Teaching Middle School History: It’s not quite elementary school... it’s not quite high school

Chapter 2: Day to Day: Providing Structure and Routines for a Middle School History Classroom

Chapter 3: Comprehension and Analysis of Expository Texts in History: What Does it Say? What Does it Mean?

Chapter 4: Evaluation of Text: What’s the Perspective?

Chapter 5: Writing in History: Making Arguments, Backing Them Up, and Citing Sources

Chapter 6: Relevance: Why Does this Matter to Me? Social Context, Historical Legacy, and Current Events

Chapter 7: Engagement: Historical Figures, Field Trips, and Games

Chapter 8: Inquiry: Project-Based Learning

Chapter 9: Assessment: The Changing Nature of Assessment

Chapter 10: Epilogue: What is the Future of History in Middle School?

Appendix A: Resources from Each Chapter

Appendix B: Blackline Masters

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Jody Passanisi is an eighth-grade U.S. History teacher at an independent school in the Los Angeles area and an adjunct instructor at Mount St. Mary’s University.


"We all know that teaching history is vital, but Passanisi brings her specific knowledge of tweens to the conversation. This book acknowledges the uniqueness of this age group and explores how to employ specific strategies in teaching them to look beyond their "me-centric" world. Passanisi clearly loves her students, shares ways to engage them in a rigorous way, and helps them expand their understanding of our past to find their own place in history.” –Heather Wolpert-Gawron, Author of DIY Project Based Learning for ELA and Social Studies

“This resourceful book is a road map to using history to facilitate the development of sociologically mindful global citizens. After reading History Class Revisited, educators will be eager to incorporate Passanisi’s model of social studies education, which balances purpose-driven, expository text exploration and writing with real-world field trips, simulations, and project-based learning. Passanisi teaches educators to guide students towards academic confidence and choice so that they may transfer evaluation and decision-making skills into their own lives as they grow to become autonomous, impactful young people.” --Catherine Stanley, Sixth Grade English Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher, North Carolina