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3 ways the National Humanity Center will make your kids smarter

The National Humanity Center has been supporting the humanities for over 40 years. That’s a good thing. Because they’ve had plenty of time to develop a ton of tools that can help make you a better teacher and your students a whole lot smarter.

Start with the NHC’s suite of lesson plans. All of their America in Class lessons have been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and literacy in history and social studies. So they all focus on specific historical thinking skills such as:

  • identifying and evaluating textual evidence,
  • determining central ideas,
  • understanding the meanings of words,
  • comprehending the structure of a text,
  • recognizing an author’s point of view, and
  • interpreting content presented in diverse media, including visual images.

The NHC scholars who have created the lessons carefully chose evidence that encourages and supports close analysis. You’ll also find questions aimed at giving students practice in the analytical skills called for in the Standards.

Each lesson contains a framing question, an essential understanding, and a single primary resource or a small manageable set of resources. Background information provides context and offers teaching ideas then finishes with key passages and analytical questions.

You can find additional resources in the NHC primary sources text set section. Browse through multiple collections of primary resources compatible with the Common Core State Standards – you’ll find historical documents, literary texts, and works of art – all thematically organized with notes and guiding questions.

And finally, spend some time browsing through the over 100 live, interactive professional development webinars on compelling topics led by leading scholars. All are free and easy to access. Each webinar is about 90 minutes long and contains both historical content and instructional strategies.

And if you can’t find any current webinars that catch your attention, check out their archives channel on YouTube.

When you’re done, you’ll be a better teacher. The result? Your kids get smarter.


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