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H.S.I. - Historical Scene Investigation - College of William & Mary School of Education

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H.S.I. or Historical Scene Investigation takes the work out of locating primary sources, and provides you with an interesting way for students to "investigate" history. This site presents...more
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H.S.I. or Historical Scene Investigation takes the work out of locating primary sources, and provides you with an interesting way for students to "investigate" history. This site presents "case histories" for "Dropping the Bomb," "Antonio the Slave," "Children in the Civil War," "The Boston Massacre" and many others. For each "case" there is a student view and a teacher view. The teacher view is a lesson plan with a list of objectives, additional contextual information and resources as well as instructional strategies, and suggestions for such things as age group and further questions to explore. The Student View includes links to 13 cases with primary documents, images, videos, and secondary documents to use as evidence along the way. The student view is set up as a mystery to solve. Students are presented with the situation and given a question to guide their inquiry. There are three steps for students to follow "Investigating the Evidence" where students are provided links to appropriate digital primary sources, "Searching for Clues" where students are provided with a set of questions to guide their analysis of the evidence, and "Cracking the Case" when students give their answers and cite the evidence they found to support their answers. This site is definitely the C.S.I for history!

tag(s): american revolution (82), atomic bomb (9), civil rights (195), civil war (134), constitution (88), jamestown (7), mysteries (20), primary sources (117), slavery (76)

In the Classroom

You might want to do the first investigation as a class using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students help analyze and annotate the information they are learning from the primary sources, using Fiskkit, reviewed here. This way you can also point out different points of view on the topic so students will know to look for this in other investigations. In your blended or flipped classroom, have students complete investigations before beginning any complementary unit. You, your gifted, or more technology inclined students could use these investigations as a model to enhance learning and create inquiries into any unit of study. Use a tool like Site123, reviewed here, a free and easy web maker, to share a project such as this. Have students "become one of the people" in the historical event and put together a online poster or another mutimedia tool of their choice using a site such as Genially, reviewed here, portraying that person and justifying their point of view. This could be done in small groups where each student, or partners, portrays a different (or opposing) character in the event and tells the story from their point of view, citing the evidence to justify that point of view.
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