This workshop will introduce you to My Part of the Story, a Facing History resource that provides a fresh and engaging way to begin a course in United States history, literature, or civic life. This six-lesson unit arrives at a moment in American politics and society when it is more important than ever for all students—regardless of who they are or where they come from—to understand the value of their individual voices in the story of the United States.
The workshop, like the unit, begins by focusing on the factors that influence identity—the ways that we define ourselves and others—and it ends by examining a question that has resonated throughout United States history, just as it does today: What does it mean to be American? We will introduce teaching strategies and activities that not only help students explore their own identities, but can also be adapted to build historical empathy for individuals in history and a deeper understanding of characters in literature.
In the workshop, you will:
Learn about a powerful framework for engaging students in a study of American history, literature, or civic life
Learn and participate in teaching strategies that build community in the classroom, sharpen students’ critical thinking, and develop their voices
Acquire new primary and secondary sources, including the voices of many teenagers reflecting on their individual and collective identities, that forge connections between the history and literature students study and their current lived experience
This unit will:
Help students understand what comprises their own identities, and how their identities influence how they see themselves and interact with others
Prompt students to reflect on the identity of the United States and see that it is the product of collaboration and conflict between a variety of different individuals and groups—some famous, but many not
Provide students opportunities to practice using specific textual evidence to support their analysis of primary and secondary sources
After this workshop you will become part of the Facing History Educator Network, with access to a rich slate of educator resources, including downloadable unit and lesson plans, study guides, and multimedia resources.
This unit particularly supports teachers in Boston Public Schools using Facing History's resource: The Reconstruction Era: The Fragility of Democracy in United States History courses.