Reading & Writing
in Global History

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Reading and Writing Like a Historian: Global History & the Social Studies Practices

Registration closed.
Dates: Tuesday, August 15 – Wednesday, August 16
Time: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
New Visions’ Fee: $25*
Related Materials: Syllabus

What makes a particularly good thematic essay? How do we teach our students to approach DBQs (document-based questions) with confidence and skill? In this course, we address these questions and, in the process, arm participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to develop students’ literacy skills. The course is grounded in the idea that historical knowledge and literacy skills develop hand-in-hand. Students gain the ability to read and write through different types of texts; similarly, students expand their content knowledge in all subjects by utilizing critical reading and writing skills.

This course has been designed to support both teachers who are familiar with the New Visions Global History and Geography curriculum and those that use other curricula (Those not familiar with the curriculum will receive a tutorial on the first day). Over the course of five weeks, participants will have the opportunity to examine the structure of a unit and discuss how units can be built around compelling questions; explore curricular resources that support the development of key literacy skills; and practice using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) to access, comment on, modify and share curricular documents.

As a result of taking this course, teachers will know and be able to do the following:

  • Design learning experiences that support students through the reading and writing of DBQs
  • Develop an understanding of the New Visions Global History curriculum
  • Create “literacy-rich” lesson plans using the New Visions Global History curriculum

Course Expectations:

  • Attend a two-day workshop
  • Actively engage in classroom discussions and activities
  • Complete a reflection that examines the intersection of literacy and history instruction and how your approach to lesson design has shifted as a result of the class
  • Complete an original, integrated lesson plan that develops students’ content knowledge and writing  skills.  

This class will be taught by

Laura Smykla

Laura Smykla has been teaching high school social studies in the NYCDOE since 2010, and since 2011 has served as a History teacher at the successful Central Park East High School, where she has helped lead school-wide interdisciplinary initiatives to look at student reading and writing strategies. Laura is a member of the New Visions Global History Curriculum Advisory Board where she works on advising the creation of the New Visions Global History Curriculum, especially focused on unpacking the skills required for the new Framework Regents exam. Laura holds an MA in Teaching in History from Bard, and a BA in History and Sociology from SUNY Geneseo. 


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Course Location

New Visions for Public Schools
205 E. 42nd Street, 4th FL
New York, NY 10017

Course Fees & Registration Policies

*New Visions is covering the course fees for educators who work in a New Visions school (charter or district). See our terms & conditions page for further information regarding registering with the DOE for P-credit and other details such as our refund policy.