Log in
You are here: Home History Standards Historical Thinking Standards Putting Historical Thinking Skills to Work

Putting Historical Thinking Skills to Work

Historical thinking skills cannot be divorced from content. The skills highlighted in brackets throughout the History Standards reflect only one of many thinking skills that should be developed for each elaborated standard. The following are among the thinking skills that can be brought to bear on particular topics. In fact, as students deepen their historical thinking and knowledge, they will learn to draw upon an increasing range of interconnected thinking skills.

The following six examples illustrate how multiple historical thinking skills can be utilized in studying particular history content standards.

Grades 5-6

United States History, Era 3, Standard 1A

The student is able to:

Reconstruct the chronology of the critical events leading to the outbreak of armed conflict between the American colonies and England.

  • Reconstruct temporal order (Historical Thinking Standard 1B)

  • Analyze cause-and-effect relationships (Historical Thinking Standard 3C)

  • Appreciate historical perspectives (Historical Thinking Standard 2F)

  • Challenge arguments of historical inevitability (Historical Thinking Standard 3E)

  • Consider multiple perspectives (Historical Thinking Standard 3B)

World History, Era 2, Standard 1A

The student is able to:

Analyze how the natural environment of the Tigris-Euphrates, Nile, and the Indus Valleys shaped the early development of civilization.

  • Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas (Historical Thinking Standard 3A)

  • Draw comparisons across regions (Historical Thinking Standard 3D)

  • Interrogate historical data (Historical Thinking Standard 4C)

  • Obtain historical data from a variety of sources (Historical Thinking Standard 4B)

  • Draw upon data in historical maps (Historical Thinking Standard 2G)

Grades 7-8

United States History, Era 5, Standard 2A

The student is able to:

Analyze the purpose, meaning, and significance of the Gettysburg Address.

  • Identify the author of historical document and assess its credibility (Historical Thinking Standard 2A)

  • Reconstruct the literal meaning of a historical passage (Historical Thinking Standard 2B)

  • Identify the central question (Historical Thinking Standard 2C)

  • Assess the importance of the individual in history (Historical Thinking Standard 3C)

  • Support interpretations with historical evidence (Historical Thinking Standard 4F)

World History, Era 6, Standard 1C

The student is able to:

Assess the ways in which the exchange of plants and animals around the world in the late 15th and 16th centuries affected European, Asian, African, and American Indian societies and commerce.

  • Analyze cause-and-effect relationships (Historical Thinking Standard 3C)

  • Employ quantitative analysis (Historical Thinking Standard 4E)

  • Draw comparisons across eras and regions (Historical Thinking Standard 3D)

  • Marshal contextual knowledge and perspectives of the time and place (Historical Thinking Standard 4D)

  • Formulate historical questions (Historical Thinking Standard 4A)

Grades 9-12

United States History, Era 9, Standard 4A

The student is able to:

Assess the role of the legislative and executive branches in advancing the civil rights movement and the effect of shifting the focus from de jure to de facto segregation.

  • Evaluate the implementation of a decision (Historical Thinking Standard 5F)

  • Explain historical continuity and change (Historical Thinking Standard 1F)

  • Analyze cause-and-effect relationships (Historical Thinking Standard 3C)

  • Challenge arguments of historical inevitability (Historical Thinking Standard 2E)

  • Formulate a position or course of action on an issue (Historical Thinking Standard 5E)

World History, Era 8, Standard 3A

The student is able to:

Describe the conflicting aims and aspirations of the conferees at Versailles, and analyze the responses of major powers to the terms of the World War I settlement.

  • Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations (Historical Thinking Standard 2D)

  • Hypothesize the influence of the past (Historical Thinking Standard 3J)

  • Marshal evidence of antecedent circumstances (Historical Thinking Standard 5B)

  • Evaluate the implementation of a decision (Historical Thinking Standard 5F)