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Paperback A Passion for the Past: Creative Teaching of U.S. History Book

ISBN: 0325000611

ISBN13: 9780325000619

A Passion for the Past: Creative Teaching of U.S. History

James Percoco challenges you to venture beyond your history textbook and provide students with opportunities to experience history firsthand. He demonstrates how, using applied history, you can bring to life the people, places, and events of our nation's history, inspiring in your students a passion for the past.

Join Percoco and his students as they embark on what he calls "academic adventures." Taking advantage of the many resources in their...


Format: Paperback

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A New Birth of Freedom

Social Studies teacher James Percoco's book provides, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, "a new birth of freedom" for teachers, students and parents interested in reinvigorating the study of the past. I came across Percoco's book while reading an inspiring review in "The History Teacher" and no sooner than the following week did I find myself implementing many of the ideas that he created for his Applied History class. In each of the book's eight chapters readers are reassured that the study of the past does not have to be limited to overblown textbooks in lecture-oriented classes. In fact, Percoco, despite the challenges of national and state standards of learning, has created more authentic and therefore more enduring opportunities for each of his students to actively participate in the study of the past rather than reading about voiceless men and women in twenty pound textbooks. Whether it is creating historical bumper stickers, field trips to Andersonville, historical heads, or historically relevant monuments out of clay, readers of this book will immediately seek out ways to apply some of the same ideas to their own teaching style and schools. The book will also inspire readers to the fact that when the study of the past becomes meaningful to the students it also becomes fun. The book concludes with an in-depth appendix providing valuable resources for those topics Percoco addressed throughout the book. This is the first of two books (the other "Divided We Stand: Teaching About Conflict in U.S. History") by Percoco that should inspire in each reader a vision of how history can be taught to all types of students as long as it is taught with passion and meaning.

Spark your creativity!

Whether you are new to the field of teaching Social Studies or whether you are an experienced teacher, reading and using A Passion for the Past is a must. It is philosophical, engaging, stimulating, and practical at the same time. Jim Percoco has been generous in sharing his insights, strategies, curriculum ideas and specific lesson plans. He also shares his enthusiasm for teaching history, which is highly motivating in itself. If you are interested in stimulating ideas for an interactive teaching style, this is the very best source to check. Give yourself some time to read and work with this material - you will be inspired and guided - and so will your students! I can't rate this source more highly. Anyone teaching American History today will want to be familiar with Percoco's ideas.

A how-to-guide for new teachers!

Percoco's book should be a required read for anyone preparing to enter the world of teaching history. As a former student of Jim Percoco at West Springfield, I can say that he honestly lives and teaches by the words that appear in his book. Now a U.S. History teacher myself (inspired by the Percoco classroom), I have used many of his ideas in my own classroom. His strategies are engaging, and the results are astounding. My students have developed a much deeper understanding of history by active and creative learning as prescribed by Percoco in his book. A Passion for the Past shows new teachers how to NOT bore your students of U.S. History. I can't wait for his next book!

Blood, Sweat and Tears

Being a history teacher myself for the past 15 years I was very impressed with Mr. Percocco's enthusiasm and creativity. However, I suspect his sucess is due as much to hard work and dedication as it is innovation. For example, he takes a group of students from his home on an extended field trip to Georgia to visit the Andersonville prison site, lines up expert speakers, does extensive research on the topic beforehand, organizes and monitors apprenticeships for his students, etc. I'll bet Mr. Percocco invests at least 60 hours a week on his job (not to mention his summers). Again, I applaud Mr. Percocco, but if you are a history teacher looking for quick and easy ideas be forewarned, while the ideas are great they will require a lot of effort on your part. In any case, get the book and learn from a master.

A remarkable book for both teachers and parents!

James Percoco has written a work that will inspire teachers and comfort parents. A PASSION FOR THE PAST details the novel methods that Percoco, a high school teacher, has used to make history come alive for his students. Percoco, selected by USA TODAY as one of America's best high school teachers, writes in a personal and honest fashion about what has worked for him in his classroom. Teachers are bound to copy his methods and parents will see that, for them too, there is a role they can play.
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