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Debating the Past

Lesson Name: Debating the Past

Primary Museum Pedagogy: Narrativity

Course Title and Description: A lower level history course that covers one event or theme, ie. the Civil War or Industrialization.

Lesson Overview:  In this activity, students portray different people from history and debate historical ideas. This lesson involves two components, a written summary of the students’ chosen individual’s thoughts on a certain issue and a presentation, during which students debate a historical topic with one another. After the presentation, the class can decide who “won” the debate and why.

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Lenses – Multiple Perspectives on Historical Events

Lesson Name: Lenses – Multiple Perspectives on Historical Events

Primary Museum Pedagogy: Narrativity

Course Title and Description: A lower level history course that covers one event or theme, ie. the Civil War or Industrialization.

Lesson Overview: Students will write a story based on a painting or image and rooted in historical fact that details how one individual or group viewed an event in contrast to another. To do so, students will synthesis readings and primary source material from a single unit, identifying the multiple perspectives surrounding a historical event or theme. This activity serves to nuance their understanding the historical moment and bring un/derrepresented voices into the narrative.

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Letter to Bialystok Assignment

Lesson Name: Letter to Bialystok Assignment

Primary Museum Pedagogy: Narrativity

Course Title and Description: History 208, Exploring Global History, Theme: New York Immigration and the Modern World

  • “This course will introduce students to global history by exploring a particular theme or issue in its historical context. Sections will address a given topic in detail and consider its global legacy.”

Lesson Overview: This lesson asks students to put themselves in the shoes of a teenager who recently immigrated from the city of Bialystok, Poland to either Argentina or Palestine, and is writing a letter home to a friend back in Bialystok about their new life. The homework leading up to this in-class assignment is to answer a series of directed questions based on chapter 2 of Rebecca Kobrin’s Jewish Bialystok and Its Diaspora. The answers to those questions give the information that students are now asked to apply to imagining a first-person narrative.

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