Teaching Writing in History course

Teaching Writing in History course2021-09-24T21:37:44+11:00

‘This course was a really refreshing way to approach writing after years of prescriptive and inflexible tools. Looking forward to trying it out.’

‘This course altered my thinking about writing – particularly scaffolding of writing and how this restricts a natural ability to write.’

‘Fresh way of looking at extended writing in a holistic approach. Intense writing sessions but helpful in terms of reflecting on the skill we are trying to teach.’

‘Great stimulus and practical activities allowed for deep thinking on how to usefully employ these ideas in the classroom.’

‘This course was excellent. I left with many skills to reflect on and many more tools to work with.’

‘The hands on experience was great. The booklet will be very useful to take back to school.’

‘Very engaging and authentic – a well structured course’

‘Brad used knowledge gained from the classroom and life and placed it in front of the student. He had a clear idea about how to improve writing and build skills for all ability levels.’

‘Brad reinforced the value of flexibility, feedback and ideas.’

‘Writing is a skill I hadn’t practiced in years and now I understand how to approach it in future lessons.’

Teaching Writing in History

Senior history students are built in junior history

Teaching Writing in History is a highly practical 5 hour workshop that will take you step-by-step inside three essays at junior, middle and senior level. Along the way, you will discover the most surprising path to writing improvement. The course will put you in the shoes of your students and rattle what you mean by ‘writing’ so you will never again utter the ugliest four words to the teenage ear: “Let’s write a paragraph!”

We will take a deep dive into three essays – all about the Cuban Missile Crisis – to show both a writing path and a history skills path where each module builds on the writing techniques and skills of the last.

$AUD330 (inc. GST)

Upcoming Courses

Module 1: Junior History

Why did the world nearly come to the brink of nuclear war in 1962?

In this module, we will work step-by-step through a history essay at junior level (12-14 year olds). We will start by identifying the history skills we will teach, select appropriate sources to meet that aim, write teacher notes and then construct a question block that will spring-load the student writing.

Finally, we will look at the annotated final product and work backwards to take an intense look inside the forms and features of the writing.

Module 2: Middle History

Who was to blame for the Cuban missile crisis?

In this module, we will build on what we have learned from junior history to explore a middle history (15-16 years old) essay. We will extend on the students ability to feel comfortable with sources and zoom out for a much broader view of the Cold War and the forces and factors that led to the Cuban missile crisis; as well as zoom closer in at the personalities and ideas that shaped the conflict.

Once again, we will select appropriate sources, write teacher notes and build activities and question blocks which are focused on developing the ideas of students – not just repeating information. Finally, we will look at an annotated essay from the inside out.

Module 3: Senior History

To what extent was the Cuban missile crisis the most serious conflict in the Cold War up until 1962?

In our final module, we will summon our 17-18 year old selves to write an evaluative essay at senior levels. We will consider the gear shifts between the crisis itself and the wider context, the writing strategies to build and sustain an argument and the level of relevant detail required to write an essay.

Finally, we will look inside the annotated essay and point out both the writing features and historical thinking present in the essay.

About Brad Kelly

Brad Kelly has had a long association with history and history teaching. He was head teacher of history for 15 years (among other educational leadership positions) and he has written six history textbooks on 20th century history including two on the Cold War, two on global world order and two on Nazi Germany. Brad also leads student and teacher history study tours through Germany, Italy and Russia with Academy Travel. In 2019, he started Cornerstone Teacher Learning where he has helped over 1,000 teachers teach writing more effectively. He is fascinated by the space between writing and teaching writing, and he is committed to spending the second half of his professional career exploring this important area – to help students write more clearly and teachers teach more confidently.

If you enjoyed this course, can I support you further?

Learn more about the Playbook

As my old mentor told me, ‘writing is a long apprenticeship’ … so you might want more?

Now that you’ve completed the Teaching Writing in History workshop with an intense focus on these three essays, you might want to add to your skillset the ability to zoom right out to capture what is happening to the students in your class that are way behind – or way ahead.

You can buy the Teaching Writing Playbook: The Most Surprising Path to Writing Improvement, attend the 5 hour course or even pop into one of our free webinars to have a listen. The Playbook takes the broader view with its focus on the Writing Cycle, using vocabulary to spot thinking (who doesn’t want to cut down on marking!?) and exploring the ten writing features we all want in greater depth.

All the best on your teaching writing journey – I do hope our paths cross again.