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ERIC Number: EJ926783
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1056-0300
History + Mystery = Inquiring Young Historians
Kirchner, Jana; Helm, Allison; Pierce, Kristin; Galloway, Michele
Social Studies and the Young Learner, v23 n3 p14-16 Jan-Feb 2011
While social studies content about communities, neighborhood jobs, and maybe even some state history is taught in the early elementary grades, often the upper elementary grades are the first time students learn about the larger progression of history. How do teachers begin to teach the progression of U.S. history and the themes and questions that humans have struggled with over time to the elementary school learner? How do they teach students to "do" history and "think" history? Creating 21st century learners that can problem solve and demonstrate critical thinking and communication skills is not a small task. One strategy is teaching history as mystery. To make this mystery strategy work, the authors suggest the book "Mystery: Learning Through Clues" as a helpful guide. It describes how to encourage students to engage in learning tasks similar to historians, archaeologists, and detectives. The strategy includes using artifacts, primary sources, and secondary sources to help students answer an essential question. First, the teacher provides an interesting mystery question, and then students examine clues to make a hypothesis, present their hypothesis to the class, and finally evaluate their results. The authors discuss the phases of the strategy and offer a few instructional and classroom management issues that need to be planned in order for this strategy to be effective in the elementary social studies classroom. (Contains 9 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: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A