I love anniversaries. We can relive moments of the past and celebrate (or mourn) the events shaping our present and future.
Our current government invested heavy dollars into the commemoration of the War of 1812. The Canadian War Museum created a stellar exhibit showing the four major perspectives of the conflict (American, British, ‘Canada-British’ and First Nations) and there have been a plethora of reenactments along the St. Lawrence River for the 200 year ‘celebrations.’
Sexias and Morton’s team have created a plethora of activities and lessons around the War of 1812 using the Historical THinking Concepts of ‘the Big Six.‘ (If you haven’t invested in this fantastic resource, you should. Buy it here.)
These lessons help teachers to give students historical inquiry strategies and skills. Although I’ll come back to these again and again, Sexias and Morton (2013) conclude:
To think historically, students need to be able to:
Establish historical significance
Use primary source evidence
Identify continuity and change
Analyze cause and consequence
Take historical perspectives, and
Understand the ethical dimension of historical interpretations.