Publication Date

December 16, 2014

The Common Core State Standards Initiative seeks to establish consistent educational standards that ensure high school graduates are prepared for college or the workforce. In regards to the subject of history, Common Core skills emphasize mastery over analysis and writing rather than rote memorization of historical facts.

In this workshop, presenters from the California History-Social Science Project will demonstrate how to teach argumentative writing to students at the 5th, 8th, and 11th grade levels. The 5th-grade and 8th-grade lessons ask students to launch a historical investigation into the Boston Massacre. The 11th-grade lesson focuses on the Vietnam War as part of a Cold War curriculum unit.

Because the transition to teaching Common Core skills may be daunting for teachers, members of the audience will practice each lesson’s activities—such as developing a thesis and evaluating evidence—for themselves. Participants will receive copies of all three lessons to take back to their classrooms.

AHA Session 4

Teaching the Common Core: Writing Arguments

Friday, January 2, 2015: 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Central Park West (Sheraton New York, Second Floor)

Chair: Nancy J. McTygue, California History-Social Science Project, University of California, Davis


Argumentative Writing: Bridging the Gap from Elementary to Middle School with a Lesson on the Boston Massacre
Shennan Hutton, California History-Social Science Project, University of California, Davis

Argumentative Writing: An Eleventh-Grade US History Lesson on the Vietnam War
Beth Slutsky, California History-Social Science Project, University of California, Davis

Related Session: AHA Session 34: Teaching the Common Core: Citing Evidence Workshop

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Attribution must provide author name, article title, Perspectives on History, date of publication, and a link to this page. This license applies only to the article, not to text or images used here by permission.