History is frequently taught through lectures, tests, and individual work with primary documents, which can be exceedingly tedious for students. This is problematic because it leads to student disengagement and limited learning. Also problematic in history education is the lack of time spent teaching events which are viewed as less impactful than others on the course of history. The Louisiana Purchase is one such event. It is often taught in one day or less as an action that simply doubled the size of the United States. This project is an attempt to combat these problems. The project contains a seven day plan for teaching the Louisiana Purchase using primary documents and active learning strategies, which place students in charge of their learning rather than in passive listening roles. Included are a block plan, seven lesson plans, and fourteen resources which are designed to more actively engage students, incorporate primary documents in an engrossing manner, and look more deeply into the complex event that is the Louisiana Purchase. The final goal of the section is for students to present and defend their position on the question Was the Louisiana Purchase a beneficial course of action? To do this, the students use the information they learned in the individual lessons, which cover topics such as the Purchase’s effect on silenced groups. The lesson plans and materials were designed with eighth graders in mind, but could also be used for other grades and skill levels, including Advanced Placement and College Credit Plus courses.
Integrated Social Studies Education
First Advisor Department
Second Advisor Department
School of Teaching and Learning
Clonch, Samantha, "Active Learning, Primary Documents, and Complex Events: Reinvigorating History Education" (2016). Honors Projects. 297.