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BEFORE YOU WATCH: What Makes History Usable?

Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. Bob Bain describes a long debate that politicians and educators have “waged war” over, about what should be taught in the history classroom. What are the two sides and what do they argue?
  2. What was the big driving question Bains’s students in Detroit studied?
  3. What did students do over the course of the school year, after they shared the stories they collected?
  4. What did looking at multiple narratives help students do?
  5. According to Bob Bain, what makes history usable?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to these questions:
  1. What stories do we have about the world since 1750? How do we know these aren’t just made up stories? How might we use evidence to test them?
  2. How might looking at the history of the world since 1750 help you understand the future better?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

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