Instructional time spent on elementary social studies is often marginalized due to the emphasis placed on other content areas. Therefore, social studies teachers must employ meaningful instructional strategies that will engage students while promoting content acquisition. This quasi-experimental study responds to this challenge by guiding a sample of 44 fifth grade students to use the historical thinking skills of sourcing, contextualizing, and corroborating that encourage engagement with a variety of primary sources through the lens of Jerome Bruner’s learning theories. The control group used traditional instructional methods including close-note taking, vocabulary review, and independent reading from social studies texts. Both the control and treatment groups were assessed prior to and after the study on content knowledge, attitude toward social studies, and critical thinking skills using the Cornell Critical Thinking Test. Students in the treatment group showed significant differences in their content knowledge over the control group.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.