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The present quasi-experimental study investigated the effects of explicit instruction of historical literacy strategies in eighth grade history classes including measuring content knowledge, critical thinking skills, and changes in motivation to learn history content. Participants (N = 63) were tasked with completing three pre-assessments and three post assessments in their history classes in order to measure the effect of explicit instruction in historical literacy strategies. One assessment measured content knowledge of history content, one measured critical thinking skills, and the other measured motivations for learning history content. Two main assignments centered around critical thinking skills were implemented with the use of scaffolding and modeling. Explicit instruction of historical literacy strategies was used with an experimental group while traditional instruction was used with a control group. The study aimed to investigate if a significant difference exists in the students’ levels of content knowledge after using explicit instruction in historical literacy strategies while also investigating a change in critical thinking skills and motivation to learn history content. This study was conducted because there is not much literature to support the argument for or against using historical literacy strategies in a history classroom. This study was significant because it showed that by using historical literacy strategies, critical thinking skills, and historical perspective-taking, students could improve in these skills and could create a deeper understanding of history content.

Keywords: historical literacy, content knowledge, literacy strategies, middle school, eighth grade, social studies


This is a metadata-only record.



  • Subject
    • Education

  • Institution
    • Cumming

  • Event location
  • Event date
    • 26 March 2021

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Joshua Cuevas