Publication Date: October 16, 2020
This book offers the tools teachers need to get started with a more thoughtful and compelling approach to teaching history, one that develops literacy and higher-order thinking skills, connects the past to students' lives today, and meets social studies 3C standards and most state standards (grades 6–12). The author provides over 90 primary sources organized into seven thematic units, each structured around an essential question from world history. As students analyze carefully excerpted documents—including speeches by queens and rebels, ancient artifacts, and social media posts—they build an understanding of how diverse historical figures have approached key issues. At the same time, students learn to participate in civic debates and develop their own views on what it means to be a 21st-century citizen of the world. Each unit connects to current events with dynamic classroom activities that make history come alive. In addition to the documents themselves, this teaching manual provides strategies to assess student learning; mini-lectures designed to introduce documents; activities and reproducibles to help students process, display, and integrate their learning; guidance to help teachers create their own units; guidelines for respectful student debate and discussion; and more.
Rosalie Metro is an assistant teaching professor in the Department of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum at the University of Missouri-Columbia and the author of Teaching U.S. History Thematically: Document-Based Lessons for the Secondary Classroom.
“Teaching World History Thematically departs from the typical chronological march through historical eras and events by framing its curriculum units around recurring themes of history. Each unit begins with the present by exploring a contemporary topic or issue framed by an essential question. Students are engaged in using primary sources to explore the issue and ‘uncover’ the recurring historical themes. They are then invited to look back to see how these themes were manifest in different eras. In so doing, students can develop a greater understanding of historical interpretation and how the past serves as a preface to the present. The book aligns well with the intent of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards and The UCLA History Standards, and will support teachers in bringing these standards to life in the classroom. This is how I want my grandchildren to learn history!”
—Jay McTighe, education author and consultant
“At a time when educators are looking to expand perspectives in history classrooms, Rosalie Metro presents a valuable collection of diverse primary sources and useful instructional tools organized around under-explored themes such as ‘gender’ and ‘social hierarchy.’ This book is an essential companion for any world history teacher.”
—Lauren McArthur Harris, associate professor of history education, Arizona State University
“This is the book I've been waiting for! I have been teaching world history since the mid-1990s and it is always a struggle to try to figure out how to present the history of the world in a way that is engaging and manageable for students. I appreciate how Dr. Metro has presented not just a methodology and framework for teaching world history thematically but includes actual lessons, documents, suggested activities, and more. This is a book for classroom practitioners. While theory is presented and explained, Dr. Metro focuses more on practice and giving educators materials and activities they can use, along with a framework upon which to build their own activities. I also appreciate Dr. Metro's efforts to include voices often excluded from textbooks or document collections. I can't wait to start implementing the activities and strategies from this book in my world history courses!”
—Christine Hitchcock, social studies teacher, Indiana University High School