The Chalk Blog

Learners Edge Launches New Continuing Education Course: Teach Like a Historian

Make History Come Alive! 

5017 book image

Teach your students to “think like historians” in our engaging new Learners Edge course! 5017: Teach Like an Historian: Teaching Historical Investigations in Social Studies is designed for middle and high school social studies teachers looking for new ways to engage students with the past. At the center of this course is the text, Why Won’t You Just Tell Us the Answer? Historical Thinking in Grades 7-12. The product of nearly twenty years of social studies teaching, author Bruce Lesh’s work is based in real-world applications, practical strategies, and a healthy understanding of the fun and challenges of teaching middle and high school students. We love this text, and we think you’ll love the chance to share the power of historical thinking with your students!  

Central to Lesh’s approach to social studies teaching is historical investigation —  AKA the classroom history lab. Imagine your students working in teams to explore a variety of historical documents and developing arguments based on these sources about the way events shaped our country. Lesh believes in order for students to think about history as something more than the memorization of facts, they must work together in this way to consider relevant questions, investigate multiple sources to address these questions, and formulate their own evidence-based arguments. When students engage in this investigative process, they see history come alive through the voices and narratives that shaped these important events. 

The first step in launching historical investigations in your classroom is helping students question and analyze historical documents and history textbooks. We want students to dig deep to fully understand a text, not just take it at face value. Learn how to help students understand text, context, and subtext to make meaning of important historical documents!  

Providing students with the opportunity to explore a single historical event from multiple perspectives is another key element of teaching historical investigations. Help your students see first-hand that every situation can be interpreted through different eyes and from different places— and understand that taking these views together leads to a deeper understanding of history. In this course, you’ll learn step-by-step how to build units around sources from everyday citizens, politicians, government documents, and the media. We’ll even get you started with sample lessons and great online resources!   

Once you’ve established the foundations of classroom investigations, learn to use these techniques to address a wide variety of key concepts in historical thinking, including chronology and causality, change and consistency over time, and historical empathy. Filled with classroom examples and sample units, you’ll learn practical, hands-on strategies to bring historical investigations into your middle and high school classroom, and help your students develop universal critical thinking skills. Step beyond lecture and the textbook and join us in this thought-provoking class! 

Explore Course 5017


Topics: Content Areas

Learners Edge is passionately committed to providing you with continuing education coursework, materials, and tools that will help you succeed in your classroom and in your career.

Offering more than 100 print-based or online courses for teachers, you can earn the graduate credit you need for salary advancement and meet your professional development needs. Contact us today to get started!

Request a Personalized Course Recommendation


Recommended Posts


from Great Teachers

At Learners Edge, we strive to bring you applicable, relevant advice and strategies that you can implement in your classroom right away. 

Enter your email below to have these strategies & ideas delivered right to your inbox.

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Recent Posts