Thinking Like… Organizer – Practicing the Inquiry Process

This “Thinking Like…” Organizer is meant to help students think like a professional. Many students are unaware of the inquiry process for many professionals, in this case Social Studies. This organizer helps answer these 4 questions:

  1. How does an historian think when they are given a primary source document?
  2. How does a geographer think when they are given a map?
  3. How does an economist think when analyzing historical events?
  4. How should someone think if they want to be an active citizen?

Each of these questions presents interesting, informative, and enlightening answers that help students understand why thinking critically about the world around them is important.

This isn’t a new line of thinking and there is a lot of interesting resources out there to help students think like a [historian]. For example, check out for some information on Historical Thinking, and Khan Academy YouTube video for Thinking Like a Historian. Also, the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) offers some great resources to help students read like a historian. 

Sam Wineburg also wrote a very informative article titled, “Why Historical Thinking is Not about History” that you can download for free.

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