Teaching and Learning History - 050316

Classroom Application

Building Community, Historical Inquiry and Research
The 5E Book Club
Pamela Giberti and Lindsay Williams

Using a book club as an instructional method provides a venue for students to collaborate around a central issue. Through a variety of instructional ideas, students can delve into areas of interest and research. Often used as a method of inquiry for science lessons, the 5E Model has been incorporated into history instruction because it supports constructivist learning.  Using the 5E approach, students can take direction of their inquiry and build collaboration for group learning.
Visit this link below for more detailed application to social studies lessons.

  • Engage:    Engagement Game (stock market simulation or monopoly), then Quick write:
What do you think these activities had to do with the ______________(ex: Great Depression)?
What do you know about ______________________?
What other things would you like to know about ___________________?
Common Text - video about __________________

(One source is PBS video series.)
  • Explore:       Teacher provides a pre-selected group of quality books (check with your local library system for interlibrary loans). Each student has time to make a choice and chooses a text of interest. Texts should be a variety of genres and topics about __________________.
  • Explain:       After students have read the book, they share with their book community a summary of what they have read, looking for common themes and individual points interest? How do the texts corroborate information about what students know/have learned about the _____________________?
  • Elaborate:     The reading group looks to today - are there parallel experiences?
    How are the events of yesterday evidenced today?
    Research for additional information: interview an adult, observe connections in modern media, or consult a credible Internet source.
  • Evaluate:       Students are provided an opportunity to present their ideas through a common project such as a skit, video, song painting, poem, poster, interactive timeline, including a reflection that reconsiders opening questions posed during the engage piece. 
The Book Club experience can provide the opportunity for students to work together as a community to build their content knowledge, but also as active learners and critical thinkers.

Try it. You’ll like it!

About NCHE

The National Council for History Education promotes historical literacy by creating opportunities for teachers and students to benefit from more history, better taught.