History and literacy go hand-in-hand. In studying history, students read about about the past to learn about themselves, their communities, countries, and other societies. They may write about it as they understand it or how it relates to them. In your history class, they will develop arguments about it in order to form a perspective, taking their understanding beyond learning simple dates and facts.

Here’s an introduction lesson for Grades 6-8 on convincing your students why history is important. It’s key to get their brains thinking critically about why history guides present decisions, how we find our place in the world, and the skills we can learn from studying history.

Ask your students about their favorite history project in school so far. Students may not always see that they’re writing about history since it may be recent, but that can open into a class discussion.

Lesson Plan

Teacher Resources: History Links

Social Studies Innovation Network – Resources and games for social studies
PBS Learning Media – Lesson Plans with interactive multimedia
Kid Citizen – Interactive history webisodes
National Geographic – Resource Library
National Museum of African American History and Culture – Multimedia
History Explorer – Lessons and multimedia resources
Census.gov – Cross-curricular lessons
Slave Voyages – Database and 3D models
Ktown92: LA Riots – Documentary media
Digital Public Library of America – Database

Standard Addressed

Production and Distribution of Writing

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

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