Ideas for integrating history
Discussion activities eliciting student explanations really follow from historically-informed Explorations. For a successful Explanation phase:
- Students may share with the whole class what they discovered while working alone or in small groups during the Exploration. Or student may share their reactions to the class’s role-playing activity or game.
- The class, or groups of students, may collectively create a timeline, map, or other form of presentation (oral and/or visual) or written response to organize ideas that emerged during the Exploration activity.
- As long as they are preceded by student explanations, it is also appropriate for the teacher to supply additional terms and explanations of scientific, mathematical, and historical concepts through interactive lecturing and Socratic questioning. For example, the teacher can explain how the results of a recreated experiment or role-play activity compare to what scientists or mathematicians really did in the past.
What the Teacher does:
- Encourages the students to explain concepts and definitions in their own words
- Asks for justification (evidence) and clarification from students
- Formally clarifies definitions, explanations, and new labels when needed
- Uses students’ previous experiences as the basis for explaining concepts
- Assesses students’ growing understanding
What the Student does:
- Explains possible solutions or answers to others
- Listens critically to others’ explanations
- Questions others’ explanations
- Listens to and tries to comprehend
- explanations that the teacher offers
- Refers to previous activities
- Uses recorded observations in explanations
- Assesses own understanding
(Bybee et a. 2006, p. 33-34)