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Urban Eighth Graders Learn Historic Interpretation

Urban Middle School eighth graders have been working together in a program designed to bring history alive through academics.

Students journeyed in historical research through the theme of The Individual in History their Actions, Legacies, and Freedoms. This unit is specifically designed to integrate language arts concepts along with history concepts. In doing so students are engaged in the process of discovery and interpretation of historical individuals to produce a historical paper and exhibit.

"This is a different way of looking at history where students really get involved in an individual in history," said Mary Meyers-Wenninger, Urban teacher.

Students investigate their historical individual through conducting research through books, archives, museums, oral history, online data basis, primary sources, and visits to historical sites.

Students are encouraged to raise questions and to marshal solid evidence in support of their answers; to go beyond the facts presented in their textbooks and examine the historical record themselves; and to consult primary documents imaginatively.

Students then presented their historic figure in an exhibit to show why this person was important. Parents and staff members were invited to the library on March 30 to view the exhibits and ask students questions.

"It's a way of learning visually which is set into motion by the team," said one student.

Another eighth grader commented, "The work of 8-3 students has created a powerful learning environment."

Sheboygan Area School District Press Release
April 24, 2009