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An inquirED Blog

Tell Me More: Using Diverse Books and Inquiry to Teach History

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

inquirED: Layers of Meaning

Picture books are a great way for students to investigate diverse perspectives in history and build literacy skills. Special guest Melissa Marks (Professor of Education, University of Pittsburgh, Greensburg) joined us for practical ideas about using inquiry, critical thinking, and diverse books in your classroom.


Key Takeaways

  • With limited time to teach social studies, it's even more important to use diverse books as a way to engage and connect with students.

  • Research suggests that we choose what to teach based on our own knowledge, our desire to be truthful and happy, and our perception of what will be fun to teach and engaging.

  • Books contain a hidden curriculum of biases, expectations, norms and beliefs.

  • It's critical to think about how historically marginalized groups are presented in the books we choose, specifically portraying them in the fullness of their humanity, including their joy, successes, and everyday lives.


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About inquirED

inquirED was founded by teachers with the mission of bringing inquiry-based social studies to every classroom. Inquiry Journeys, inquirED’s elementary social studies curriculum, is used in schools and districts across the country to help students develop deep social studies content knowledge and build the inquiry skills that are essential for a thriving democracy.


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