3 Tips for Teaching History for K-2 (Freebie Included)

By Naomi O'Brien

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When it comes to teaching accurate history lessons for K-2, some teachers may find it hard to know where to start. LaNesha and I want to share our 3 go-to tips that we use in the classroom.

1. PICK YOUR TOPIC

First, take a look at what you HAVE to teach or LOVE to teach. What special days are approaching on your calendar?

Start with those lessons and then do a little research. Thanks to the power of the internet, we can look up anything our hearts desire! Type in your topic + the truth or + myths or even + misconceptions and see what comes up.

Now, of course we know, where we are getting this information from matters a lot!

2. QUESTION EVERYTHING
And encourage your students to do the same with any narrative you place in front of them. We are in the business of teaching students HOW to think, not WHAT to think. History and other social studies lessons shouldn’t just be forcing students to memorize facts, names, and locations.

Ask your students:

Whose perspective are we centering?

Whose voice is missing?

Who is hurt by this narrative?

What else was going on in the world at this time?

Is this important for us to know? Why?

How do these events connect to us?

How do these events connect to present day?

What lesson can we learn from this past situation?

LaNesha and I came up with a couple of questions that can be paired with any topic you teach about. We want to ask these questions so often that it becomes second nature to our students to question sources, seek multiple perspectives, and think critically about the world.

3. KEEP YOUR BIASES AT BAY

Regardless of how you feel about a lesson or accurate history account, these lessons are for the students to grapple with and make sense. Your job is to remain neutral and facilitate the lessons. (We make exceptions for non-negotiables like racism, genocide, and other human rights issues.)

We have created a ton of resources to help primary teachers get engaging and accurate history, cultural, and social studies lessons into their classrooms. These can be found in my shop or in Education with An Apron’s TpT store!

K-3 Social Studies
K-3 Social Studies
K-3 Social Studies

We hope these tips help you out! Grab our free resource below from my free resource library. Add you email address to the mailing list on my site to receive the password and access all of my free resources!

Naomi

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Hi, I'm Naomi

I have been teaching elementary students for over 10 years. Effective reading instruction and accurate social studies at the primary level are huge passions of mine! 

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