Resources > Curriculum Standards History > OUSD History Standards > Gr 9 -12 Historical Thinking

OUSD K-12 History / Social Studies Standards
Chronological Thinking & Examining Evidence

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OUSD Historical Thinking Standards Overview

1. Chronological/Spatial Thinking
What students should be able to do:

1) Students know the key events of the historical eras they are studying, and place them in chronological sequence.

2) Students understand the relationships between a year (e.g., 1865) and the century (e.g., the nineteenth) in which it occurred. They use the terms "early (mid, late) ___ century."

3) Students use maps to identify physical and cultural features of neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries that they are studying, both historically and in the present.

4) Students understand that change happens at different rates at different times; that some aspects of a thing can change while others remain the same; that change is complicated and not always what it seems. They understand that change affects not only technology and politics, but also values and beliefs.

5) Students understand that we use periodization to divide the past into meaningful chunks of time (e.g., Middle Ages, the Civil Rights Era, the Reagan years). They understand that periods can be divided differently, depending on our purposes in examining the past.

6) Students understand that the present is connected to the past. They identify both similarity (continuity) and difference (change) between past and present.

2. Examining Evidence
What students should be able to do:

1) Students are familiar with a wide range of artifacts, photographs, stories, music, historical maps, and written sources from the periods they are studying. They use these sources to generate questions about the past.

2) Students identify the uses of an artifact. They identify parts of the artifact and how they might contribute to its usefulness. They identify the main subject of a photograph. They identify details in a photograph and explain how they contribute information to the picture. The students understand the meaning of the vocabulary used in written sources and accurately read information from them. They identify the main idea or ideas stated in the source as well as supporting details.

3) Students identify sources, primary and secondary, where they can gain information. They understand how the original intent or audience for the source can be used to evaluate reliability (e.g., diary vs. public letter).

4) Students understand that some sources are more reliable than others. They compare reliable and unreliable sources and offer reasons why one source should be accepted as more reliable than another. They understand that sources may conflict for a variety of reasons.

5) Students understand that primary sources also tell us about the person or people who created them. They use sources to help figure out the purposes and perspectives of their author(s). They explain how sources attempt to persuade audiences through use of vocabulary and other strategies.

6) Students discuss how different primary sources from a time period are related to each other. They explain how the sources are products of the time in which they were produced. They discuss how the author's beliefs and values are related to those of others at the time the source was created.