Historical Analysis and Interpretation

Historical Thinking Standard Three & Alignment to the Common Core
Historical Thinking Standard
Common Core Standards

*RH=Reading History
*RI=Reading Informational Text

Standard Three: Historical Analysis and Interpretation

  1. Identify the author or source of the historical document or narrative
  2. Compare and contrast differing sets of ideas, values, personalities, behaviors, and institutions by identifying likenesses and differences.
  3. Differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations but acknowledge that the two are related; that the facts the historian reports are selected and reflect therefore the historian’s judgment of what is most significant about the past.
  4. Consider multiple perspectives of various peoples in the past by demonstrating their differing motives, beliefs, interests, hopes, and fears.
  5. Analyze cause and effect relationships and multiple causation, including the importance of the individual; the influence of ideas, human interests, and beliefs; the accidental and the irrational; and the role of chance
  6. Challenge arguments of historical inevitability by formulating examples of historical contingency, of how different choices could have led to different consequences.
  7. Compare competing historical narratives by contrasting different historians’ choice of questions, and their use of sources reflecting different experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and points of view, and by demonstrating how an emphasis on different causes contributes to different interpretations.
  8. Hold interpretations of history as tentative, subject to changes as new information is uncovered, new voices heard, and new interpretations broached.
  9. Evaluate major debates among historians concerning alternative interpretations of the past.
  10. Hypothesize the influence of the past, including both the limitations and opportunities made possible by past decisions.

Key Ideas and Details

RH 9-10.3: Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

Craft and Structure

RI 5.6: Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

RH 6-8.6: Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).

RH 9-10.6: Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

RH 6-8.8: Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.

Rh 6-8.9: Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.

RH 9-10.9: Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.


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