journal contributionposted on 2019-07-30, 00:00 authored by Jackie Popp
Sixth grade students investigate a replica of a shaduf, a tool to draw water from the river, as part of their ongoing inquiry about what life was like for everyday people in ancient Egypt. Project READi (Reading, Evidence, and Argumentation in Disciplinary Instruction) studies how to support middle school and high school students in creating arguments from multiple sources within the content areas of history, science, and literature. In history and social studies classrooms, teachers help students "do history." History is "argument without end" (Pieter Catharinus Arie Geyl, Dutch historian), and doing history involves engaging in the investigatory and discursive practices of historians. Ultimately this entails critically examining multiple sources from the past and closely reading sources written about the past to construct historical interpretations of what happened. These practices are anything but simple and straightforward. But by continually practicing disciplinary ways of asking and answering historical questions, students hone their critical thinking skills and become active participants in the ongoing dialogue of the discipline.