Today’s lesson is a unique investigation into the practice of history – how do we know what happened in the past? Whose accounts do we believe/privilege? What is the relationship between history and memory? Students will complete an activity that directly compares different textbooks, examining them as primary sources that point to different historical narratives. This will also set up tomorrow’s class on controversy in history.
Goal: for everyone to gain an understanding of how history is written.
- Following the textbook activity, the class discussion remains really free-form. You may want to have a socratic-style seminar where students lead the discussion and talk about their critical examinations of historical narratives. You may choose to lead a more structured discussion about the role of power in controlling popular/public knowledge. It may also be really amazing to talk about the current climate of local activists and researchers identifying and sharing long-repressed historical narratives.