An introduction to history, including how historians work, maps, primary and secondary sources, economics, and American democracy
Foundations of History unit contains 8 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in Foundations of History Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
What Is Geography?
Students are introduced to the study of geography—what it is and what it isn't. They explore and describe the six elements of geography. Next, they learn about the tools geographers use and some of the real-life jobs that geographers do. Finally, they write their own article about how geography affects their everyday lives.
Students learn about the major types of maps and key concepts such as latitude and longitude. Then they encounter various map projections and the uses of projections. Next, they learn about contemporary high tech mapping processes involving tools such as the Global Positioning System (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Then they write an explanation of what they have learned, from the point of view of an antique mapmaker. Finally, they view a satellite photo of the moonlit Earth and discuss how it could be interpreted as a map.
Continents, Oceans, and Natural Wonders
Students review what they know about the continents and oceans. Then they learn additional information about both. Next, they explore the differences between weather and climate and look at the climate zones throughout the world. Finally, students work in groups to learn about climate-related topics and report back to the rest of the class.
Working Like a Historian
Students watch a video explaining what history is and how historians work. Next, they learn about historians‚Äô ways of using time, such as timelines and chronological periods. Then, they compare and contrast history and other social sciences and study examples of historical thinking, particularly cause and effect. Finally, they examine the relationship between history and culture.
Interpreting Primary and Secondary Sources
Students learn to distinguish between primary and secondary sources. Then they learn how to evaluate and interpret primary sources. Finally, students conduct brief case studies by locating and evaluating primary and secondary sources for assigned historical topics.
The Basics of Economics
Students learn about the growth of economies through prehistory and history. Next, they learn the major types of economies, particularly traditional and command. Then, they learn about goods and services and the related concepts of scarcity, supply, and demand. Next, they investigate the factors that produce economic growth, including the four factors of production: land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship. Finally, they delve into the concept of opportunity cost.
Foundations for American Democracy
Students explore the historical origins of democracy in ancient Greece and Rome. They consider the influence of democracy in the United States and France. Then they describe limited governments and explain the reasons for limiting governmental control. Finally, based on a Churchill quote, they explain whether democracy is the best form of government.
The Role of Citizenship in the United States
Students examine the differences between rights, responsibilities, and duties with regard to U.S. citizenship. They learn about the role of citizens in participating in government. Then they explain the process of choosing a candidate before voting. They conclude by brainstorming things that citizens can do to take responsibility in their communities.