Key Concepts in History
Key Concepts in the study of History
Understanding how using key concepts in History enriches our communication of key historical ideas
By the end of this lesson you will be able to communicate an authentic understanding of key historical concepts in order to enrich your historical writing
Resources: Resources are taken from TKI: http://seniorsecondary.tki.org.nz/Social-sciences/History/Key-concepts
Historians weigh the importance, durability, and relevance of events, themes, and issues in the past and the appropriateness of using the past to provide contemporary lessons; historians debate what is historically significant and how and why the decisions about what is significant change.
Continuity and change
History examines change over time and continuity in times of change. Historians use chronology to place these developments in context. Historians debate what has changed, what has remained the same, and the impact of these changes.
Cause and effect
Historians investigate the reasons for and the results of events in history; they debate the causes of past events and how these events affect people’s lives and communities. Historians study relationships between events to identify pervasive themes, ideas, and movements, such as terrorism, revolution, and migration.
There are multiple perspectives on the past (both at the time and subsequently). Interpretations of the past are contested – historians base their arguments on historical evidence and draw from a variety of perspectives.
Activity: four corners activity
• Four corners comprises of splitting the class into groups of four
• In each corner of the room there is a resource, resources are numbered one to four
• Each group member goes to one corner and reads the resource
• They may take notes, but only have one minute for writing
• The corner groups then have a few minutes for discussion on the meaning of the resource
• Students return to their original groups and communicate the ideas back to their group-mates
• The four resources are then projected, and students fill in any gaps in their understanding based on the notes they have made and the ideas they have discussed
• Students should end with a complete set of the key historical concepts
• They can then write a paragraph using one of the key historical concepts that expresses a key historical idea