The Many Jobs of Jean Nicolet
Using Textbook Entries to Critically Analyze Sources in the Elementary School Classroom
Keywords:textbook analysis, history textbooks, primary sources, secondary sources, primary source analysis, Elementary Social Studies, history teaching
Textbooks provide valuable source material for primary school students studying historical research processes. By studying changes of the same event in multiple textbooks, students developed an understanding of how historical research and scholarship changes over time. Fourth graders studied multiple retellings of the experiences of Jean Nicolet, a French diplomat when he landed in Wisconsin in 1634. After reading the most up-to-date information, students were able to identify the flaws in past textbooks and popular artwork depicting the event. Using their new knowledge, students wrote letters and drew reinterpretations of Nicolet’s journey that advocated for broader teaching of the new information.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Kate Van Haren
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