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Writing to Learn from Multiple-Source Inquiry Activities in History

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Chapter Summary

Inquiry writing activities seek to engage students in a similar context by asking them to use multiple documents, like historians do, to reason about how different people's motives and actions; the cultural context including social, political and economic factors; and the occurrence of other events, all interact to make History happen. As much of the attention in learning from multiple documents in History has focused on improving sourcing skills, this chapter focuses on the other two main skills underlying learning from document-based inquiry activities: contextualization and corroboration/integration. It prompts chronological thinking using timeline activities, prompt integration using different writing prompts, and examines the effects that both of these manipulations have on student learning about History from document-based writing activities. The chapter also moves the investigation of learning from multiple-document inquiry activities using the Panama Unit into even younger student populations.

Keywords: chronological thinking; contextualization; corroboration; cultural context; integration; multiple-document inquiry activities; Panama Unit



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