Graduation Year


Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Faculty Advisor

Lisa D'Souza


While there is research in support of historical thinking in the elementary curriculum, the results vary and this raises the question, how capable are elementary students in engaging in historical thinking? I plan to answer this question by looking at examples of historical thinking in elementary students through their experiences with a unit plan I develop with a central focus on historical inquiry. My goal is to develop a 4-day unit plan for 4th graders on Westward 4 Expansion using the MA Curriculum Frameworks for 4th grade content and NCSS historical thinking skills. I will garner feedback from Worcester area teachers to support the revision of my unit. I will then teach my lessons with elementary students to learn how effective the lessons were in supporting the development of historical thinking in elementary students. There is currently a lack of historical thinking skills being taught in elementary curriculum. This study is important because students may be capable of more critical thinking skills than is typically expected. Due to the necessity of these skills, the earlier students can learn the more successful they will be making claims, recognizing historical perspective, and deeply inquiring into whose story is told in a history and whose is missing.