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ERIC Number: EJ1002613
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
Who Writes History? Developing a Social Imagination with Third Graders
Zaleski, Joan; Zinnel, Vera
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v25 n3 p23-26 Jan-Feb 2013
Over her 23 years of teaching elementary school, Vera, a third grade teacher (and co-author of this article), had often fallen into the familiar rhythm of the fall social studies curriculum, with its predictable narrative of discovery, bravery, heroism, and thanksgiving. Her journey to becoming a more reflective, thoughtful, and equitable teacher of young children is the product of her own growth and discovery. During her own studies and professional development, she found herself taking on different perspectives that made her question some aspects of her teaching. In addition, being part of a teacher inquiry group, she was becoming more familiar with global children's literature that would help students think more about their place in the world around them. She found the support from others in the group to create "a pedagogy of joy and justice," where the voices brought into the classroom include not only those of students, but also the underrepresented and marginalized. Vera describes in this article how she chose to rethink her social studies unit on Columbus with her third graders by focusing on the Big Idea, "Who gets to write history?" That is, whose stories are told? What can one learn from listening to others' stories? Ever mindful of adhering to standards (Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects), Vera implemented reading, writing, listening, and speaking experiences to develop concepts of perspective in this unit. As a result of this unit, Vera and her students applied what they discovered about history and their social imagination to other topics throughout the year. (Contains 15 notes.)
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800: Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 3
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A