1st Edition

Inquiry-Based Lessons in U.S. History Decoding the Past (Grades 5-8)

By Jana Kirchner, Andrew McMichael Copyright 2015
    212 Pages
    by Prufrock Press

    Inquiry-Based Lessons in U.S. History: Decoding the Past provides primary source lessons that focus on teaching U.S. history through inquiry to middle school students. Students will be faced with a question to answer or problem to solve and will examine primary sources for evidence to create hypothetical solutions. The chapters focus on key chronological periods (e.g., the Age of Exploration to the Civil Rights era) and follow the scope and sequence of major social studies textbooks, with activities linked to the U.S. History Content Standards and the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies. The three lesson plans in each chapter begin with an essential question that sets the focus for the primary sources and teaching strategies that follow. The lesson plans include differing types of primary sources such as photographs, speeches, political cartoons, historic maps, paintings, letters, and diary entries.

    Grades 5-8

    Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Life Before 1600 Collision Of Cultures Chapter 3 1607–1650 Settling In Chapter 4 1650–1750 Colonial Development Chapter 5 1750–1783 The Path To The Independence Chapter 6 1783–1800 The New Nation Chapter 7 1803–1850 Westward Expansion Chapter 8 1850–1865 Sectionalism And The Civil War Chapter 9 1863–1877 Reconstruction Chapter 10 1840–1914 A Nation In Transition Chapter 11 1840–1900 Industrialization And Immigration Chapter 12 1914–1945 The Era Of World Wars Chapter 13 1940–1970 Civil Rights References About The Authors Common Core State Standards Alignment


    Jana Kirchner, Ph.D., is an educator with 30 years of experience. She has served as a school district instructional supervisor, an assistant professor at Western Kentucky University, a social studies consultant, and a high school social studies and English teacher. She earned her Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University of Louisville. Kirchner coauthored Inquiry-Based Lessons in World History, vols. 1 & 2 and Inquiry-Based Lessons in U.S. History: Decoding the Past with Andrew McMichael and Parenting Gifted Children 101 with Tracy Inman. She provides professional development on social studies strategies and inquiry topics with JK Consulting (janakirchner.com). 

    Andrew McMichael, Ph.D., is the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and a professor of history at Auburn University at Montgomery.

    If you are looking for new ways to incorporate primary sources into your U.S. history lessons, then this book will provide you with some great ideas. From the nation's infancy through Civil Rights, you will have access to great lessons or can take the bits and pieces you need. I can honestly say that no U.S. history teacher would be disappointed with this book. It can serve you to have as a personal copy or to keep in a curriculum library.,Michael DiClemente, sixth grade teacher,MiddleWeb, 7/30/15