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Raise the bar and take your students to a new level of learning with our Signature Strategies based on Common Core State Standards, TEKS, and SOLs. Increase their ability to think critically, become active learners and gain a better understanding of the story of our nation. Highly regarded Master Teachers have designed signature teaching methods and strategies to help enhance pedagogy for elementary, middle and high school teachers. This section provides teachers with the background knowledge for each method.
Close Reading of Informational Text
The strategies for close reading of informational text focus on the skills needed to support students to uncover layers of meaning that lead to deep comprehension. These skills include directing attention to the central ideas, and supporting details, reflecting on meanings of individual words and sentences, extracting key concepts that form the basis for analysis and comparison within a text and across texts, shifting the focus from the reader’s response to the text itself, and developing ideas over the course of the text.
Comparing Informational Texts
The strategies for comparing informational text focus on the skills needed to support students to compare different interpretations the same event. These skills include analyzing multiple perspectives on the same event, distinguishing fact from opinion, analyzing information within an historical viewpoint, comparing competing versions of events to construct an accurate interpretation, testing interpretations against evidence, identifying bias, assessing reliability and constructing historical arguments.
Contextualizing Informational Text
The strategies for contextualizing text focus on the skills needed to support students to establish the time, scope, and sequence in which the events of an era take place. These skills include establishing the location at which events happened, associating events with contemporary actions throughout the world, establishing the values and beliefs of the time as a lens to analyze the past, using the values of the time to analyze historical meaning, and comparing and contrasting the values of the past with those of the present.
Developing Historical Thinking
The strategies for developing historical thinking focus on the skills needed to support students to construct a personal interpretation of the past. These skills include studying the differences between single-causation and multi-causation of the events of the past, assessing the impact of the consequences of events and decisions of the past, utilizing counterfactual arguments to deepen understanding of specific episodes of history, and analyzing the essential themes in different periods of history and across history.
See the Toolbox section in each unit of CICERO for student worksheets and handouts designed for particular methods.