Reading about a topic from works by different authors with different writing structures and perspectives may impact or influence a readers' interpretation of the information. (Intensive Reading: 1000410; ESOL Reading: 1002381)
Unit Essential Question(s):
How can varying text structures and text features in writings about the same event, period or person influence a reader's interpretation of the topic?
Recognition of multiple historical perspectives is fundamental to good history teaching. But Bardige (1988) points out that simply presenting children with multiple perspectives may give them the impression that all perspectives are of equal worth. Therefore, teachers must help students learn how to evaluate the merit of particular interpretations of historical events. Making judgments based on a well-rounded gathering of information is a vital critical thinking procedure, and "part of that exploration [of the past] includes an opportunity to study and evaluate human behavior in a developmentally appropriate context" (Levstik 1989, 136). Levstik also believes that trade book literature provides a better context for the young history student than do textbooks by "inviting the reader to enter into a historical discussion that involves making judgments about issues of morality. ... What was it like to be a person here? What was the nature of good and evil in that time and place, and with whom shall my sympathies lie?" (137).