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Using Conceptual Identifications to Promote Critical Reading and Analytic Thinking

In history courses, students are often asked to define key terms, but these terms tend to be specific and lead students to memorize without analysis. Having students

instead identify key concepts can lead them to actively read their textbook, as well as to analyze what they read. Using conceptual identification in the classroom can help both teacher and students build comprehension of broader topics using specific examples from history. When completing a conceptual identification, a broad concept, give an example of it, and explain its historical significance. With pre-AP level students, this process can help students learn to use specific historical events to evidence a broader historical idea, as well as determining the significance of historical details. At the AP level, students are challenged to find historical patterns by finding several examples over time for each concept, and to become more discerning, active readers by learning how to distinguish essential from non-essential historical elements.

Audience: AP History and Social Studies Teachers
Grade: 10-12
Number of Days: 1