History Labs are inquiry-based learning experiences that provide teachers with the necessary information and tools to teach a range of historical topics. History Labs include:
- the central questions;
- source materials; and
- step-by-step explanations of the procedures to implement the Lab and assess student learning.
Each History Lab is based on an overarching question that guides the instruction and study of the topic. Through critical analysis and interpretation of evidence, students learn the content and develop historical thinking skills.
During the History Lab, students discuss the lead question and determine the information needed to formulate a response. Source materials are analyzed for authorship and purpose, significant information, context and subtext, and multiple or conflicting perspectives.
Students then synthesize this information to construct evidence-based responses to the overarching question. History Labs can be taught in parts or in their entirety, and can be adjusted for different knowledge and ability levels. The student work products take the form of written narratives, oral presentations and debates, or multi-media projects.