Historical Thinking Skills & Evaluation Strategies in Social Sciences
Historical thinking is a framework that allows students to explore the nature of history and historical events at a deeper level. Students actively investigate their past, using various intellectual operations, through an examination of source documents, and through a process of representation, rigorous reasoning, and interpretation.
Opportunities for formative and self-assessment abound. The Historical Thinking concepts and specific guideposts can help you note and then teach the more specific and deeper skills needed for final assessments. Here you will find notions, tools and strategies to help you teach critical thinking and more effectively use the evaluation frameworks and the "Intellectual Operations".
Note: Some of the actual Practice Evaluations produced by the RECITUS have been translated as well, and are available here below and on the main History of Quebec & Canada page here.
Also, available are various "Summary Pages" and Related Graphic Organizers
Below you will now find our icons, which were originally used for summary pages created by LEARN and LBPSB consultants, and which now include the latest versions specific to the History of Quebec and Canada program. Older IO documents for courses being changed or discontinued may also be available.
A note about these icons from Paul R @ LEARN! These icons have a story: They were quickly created when I was putting together various LESs and document packages, and when I was teaching the course myself online. The intention was to have identifiable iconography so that I could label activities easily and so students could readily see which operation they were performing. I created poster-sized versions to put on my wall as well. They quickly became very popular amongst teachers and students, and are now often used in the creation of materials by various boards and even on some exams! However, please note that they are not official documents, but are reflections on the official documents available on the MEES sites and on their training documents.
Summary documents of the frameworks and I.O.s for various subjects within the Social Sciences:
Secondary 3 and 4 History of Quebec program icons:
Tabloid and small jpeg versions together Download Card-sized versions for activities Go to site Tabloid et petit jpgs en français Download
GRAPHIC ORGANIZER COLLECTIONS
Visit our central store-house for various graphic organizers, many of which were developed for the myriad learning scenarios and document packages on LEARN. For convenience, we have gathered them together, and to loosely organize them around various Historical Thinking concepts, their guideposts document, and our own program's Intellectual Operations. Go to page
Intellectual Operation (I.O.) Guides and Badges by RECITUS
Earning your Intellectual Operations Badges by RECITUS
Below are a series of badges for the I.O.s in history and geography that you can hand over to students as they practice the operations, and as they become proficient in using them in different situations. They were originally prepared by the RECITUS team. Their French versions are now available via Go to site
Notes about these guides and in particular the use of badges. While they do allow the teacher or student to illustrate concretely an abstract intellectual operation, they are not instruments of evaluation. Rather, they might help students assess where they are in their appropriation of one or other of the intellectual operations. Finally, they could also be used as tools to inspire and motivate students, in gaming strategies in class, a playful learning tool, or as just one teaching medium among many others. It is up to teachers to define an appropriate distribution system.
Also note that the separate English badge images used in the guides are available here: Download
New for 2021: Elementary-level badge guides with additional sample worksheets are now available on the Societies and Territories web site. Go to site
Establish Facts The student must identify an actor, a group, an action, a measure, a role, a territory, an economic activity, a phenomenon.
Download English secondary version of the guide, several worksheets, as Google Slides: Go to site
Establish connections between facts The student must associate demonstrations or descriptions with facts that are related to them.
Determine causes & consequences The student should indicate a fact, for example, the contexts, interests, objectives, influences, actions, which explains a historical reality. The student should indicate a fact that springs from a historical reality.
Situate in Time The student must chronologically order facts taking into account time markers. It must situate a fact or set of facts on a timeline. It must classify facts according to whether they are earlier or later than a time marker.
Download English Google Doc secondary example Go to site
Situate in Space The student must situate geographical elements, facts or territories in space. Guide to come.
Identify differences & similarities Students should identify differences and similarities or points of convergence or divergence.
Access current English versions: Convergence & divergence Go to site Similarities & Differences Go to site
Determine changes & continuities The student must identify a fact that shows that a historical reality is being transformed or maintained.
Access current English version: Changes and continuities Go to site
Intellection Operations: Main and Formative Sub-Skill Examples
Teaching Intellectual Operations and Historical Thinking
Could the I.O.s relate to real-life situations?
Here's one fun way to introduce the I.O.s, and then to constantly refer to them throughout the year. View the LEARN How-to entitled Talk about your passion by using the Intellectual Operations! Go to page
Intellection Operations and formative supporting skills and notions
The Intellectual Operations are ways students "appropriately use knowledge" in the Social Sciences. But students may need to develop other supporting skills or notions too. "Too often in education, we head students who have insufficient formative skills straight for the summative assessment. It is the formative skills that lead up to the summative skills, the ones being assessed." (Big Skills for the Common Core by Hugelmeyer & Benjamin)
ESTABLISH FACTS Explore the following examples of skills and sub-skills that help students "identify relevant and accurate facts" and establish and understanding their significance: Main skills: Identify accurate facts Go to site Identify and explain relevant facts Go to site Related sub-skills to practice: Consider the question or problem Go to site Establish needs and clear goals Go to site Consider prior understanding Go to site Contextualize document Go to site Primary vs secondary documents Go to site
ESTABLISH CONNECTIONS BETWEEN FACTS Explore the following examples of skills and sub-skills that help students "associate forms of expression or descriptions with facts that are related to them: Main skills: Ability to INTERRELATE FACTS Go to site Ability to ILLUSTRATE A STATEMENT using facts. Go to site Related sub-skills to practice: Describe the “historical narrative” Gain and connect specific knowledge from documents
SITUATE IN TIME AND SPACE The following are examples of skills involved when students "place facts on timelines; establish precedence or posteriority, situate territories in time, etc." Main skills in this I.O.: Place Facts in CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER Go to site Place Facts on a TIMELINE Go to site Identify facts that PRECEDE or FOLLOW Go to site Situate TERRITORIES IN TIME Go to site Situate TERRITORY in space/time Go to site
Historical Thinking / How to get students thinking deeper? How can we turn a timeline activity into a historical thinking activity? One way is to consider historical significance. Example strategy: Arrange event cards in chronological order. From a larger set of events, students select and place on a timeline 10 events that are the most historicallysignificant, based on criteria such as "Revealing or Remarkable" (from The Big Six). With this criterion in mind students then categorize their selection based on remarkable or revealing, and arrange event cards in chronological order. Alternatively, students could use criteria based on relevance to a guiding question. Finally, students themselves could use their conclusions to determine their own time periods or to identify what they feel are important turning points, compare theirs to the program's choices, etc. (Tools like timelines here, here and here. Browse larger collection here. Timelines cards similar generate on Canadian Encyclopedia here, but created from collections like those on LEARN here!)
CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES Explore the following examples of skills that help students identify facts that explain and/or result from phenomena: Main skill: Identify MULTIPLE CAUSES/CONSEQUENCES Go to site Possible sub-skills: Delineate/characterize a TIME PERIOD Go to site Consider MOTIVATIONS Go to site Identify/explain CONDITIONS Go to site Determine consequence’s INFLUENCE Go to site Note consequence’s DURATION Go to site
ESTABLISH CAUSAL CONNECTIONS Explore the following examples of skills that help students establish logical connections between explanatory factors and consequences: Main skill: EXPLAIN THE CAUSAL CONNECTIONS Go to site Possible sub-skills: Mapping MULTIPLE CAUSES Go to site Identify TYPES (Economic, political, etc.) Go to site Vocabulary for WAYS ... Go to site
CONTINUITY AND CHANGE Explore the following examples of skills that help students identify what remains unchanged over time, or that changes over time. Main skill: Identify UNCHANGED & indicate CHANGED Go to site Possible sub-skills: Sequence the TARGETED EVENTS first Go to site PERIODIZE the events in question Go to site Discover/identify TURNING POINTS Go to site Describe the PROCESS of CHANGE Go to site INTERPRET changed and unchanged elements Go to site
Identify Differences and Similarities Main and sub-skills .. coming soon.
See also the RECITUS Badge guides: Students should identify differences and similarities or points of convergence or divergence. English versions: Convergence and divergence Go to site Similarities & Differences Go to site Les guides originaux en français: Convergence et divergence TéléchargerSimilitudes et différences Télécharger Réclamer cette mention(compte credly nécessaire).
HQC Evaluation Materials (RECITUS, SWLSB, ETC.)
RECITUS Questions and Evaluations in English
Occasionally we translate RECITUS document collections, tasks and most recently some of their evaluations. They are then stored on the Secondary 3/4 Communauté Histoire du Québec et du Canada. (Go to site) Direct links to these resources are below.
SECONDARY 3: Review with BANQ Short Answer Questions - Origins to 1840 Go to site Review Slides (Synthesis for Origins to 1840) Go to site
Question developing of a coherent representation of a period C1 - Origins -1608 Go to site Question demonstrating rigour of interpretation C2 - Origins to 1608 Go to site
Question demonstrating rigour of interpretation C2 - 1608-1760 Go to site Question developing a coherent representation of a period C1 - 1608 to1663 Go to site
Question developing a coherent representation of period C1 - 1763-1774 Go to siteQuestion demonstrating rigour of interpretation C2 1760-1791 Go to site
Question developing a coherent representation of a period C1 - 1791-1840 Go to site Question demonstrating rigour of interpretation C2 - 1791-1840 Go to site
SECONDARY 4: Short-answer review questions - period 1840 to the present Go to site Short Answer Questions -- 1945-1980 Go to site Short questions - Period of 1980 to our times Go to site
Question developing a coherent representation of a period C1 - 1840 to 1896 Go to site Question developing a coherent representation of a period C1 - 1896 to 1945 Go to site Question developing a coherent representation of a period C1 - 1945 to 1980 Go to site Question developing a coherent representation of a period C1 - 1980 to today Go to site
Question demonstrating rigour of interpretation C2 - 1840 to 1896 Go to site Question demonstrating rigour of interpretation C2 - 1896 à 1945 Go to site Question demonstrating rigour of interpretation C2 - 1945 to 1980 Go to site Question demonstrating rigour of interpretation C2 - 1980 to today Go to site
CSMV (Robillard & Quirion): Duplessis- modernism ou conservatism ? C2 - Question demonstrating rigour of interpretation Go to site
Recently shared on the community by Daniel Hedges, a consultant at SWLSB, is a large project whereby recycled and recently created MEES-style exam questions have been organized according to course time periods. The links below lead directly to the questions posted to the Secondary 3/4 Communauté Histoire du Québec et du Canada.
Note: These are links midway to sections in rather long documents. Scan all the way to the bottom for extra exams and resources. ;-)
Newly created Dec. 2019 - Quick links to questions! With these quick links, you have access to Document Based Questions by topic. Since the topics are laid out for each time period, this resource works well for practicing Document Base Questions with students thoughout the year, on a ongoing basis, and as a routine. This helps students get better at Document Based Questions, and ultimately to be better prepared for the exam too!! (D. Hedges)
Scan through the main Social Sciences pages for organizers and embedded evaluations inside learning activities, and many other resources.
As well, on the new Evaluation Strategies pages (you might already be here if you are reading this) are various other tools and strategies to help teachers use the evaluation frameworks, monitor skills particular to the social sciences, and develop some best practices for exam situations. Note, that is also where you will also find the LEARN I.O. icons and RECITUS Evaluations, Badges and Guides! Go to page
LCEEQ workshop on Historical Thinking
LCEEQ Presentation on Historical Thinking (Matt R and Paul R) Matt R. (WQSB) and I (Paul R from LEARN) presented on HIstorical Thinking concepts and strategies at LCEEQ this year. We focussed on information in the various sections on this page below, and provided opportunities for participants to "think historically".
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