Envisioning history

Shaping literacy practices in the teaching of the early modern period in grade 6


  • Robert Walldén




classroom discourse, disciplinary literacy, history teaching, literacy practices, reading and writing across the curriculum, text talks


This article aims to contribute knowledge of how literacy practices are actively shaped in the teaching of history. One teacher and her two groups of Grade 6 students were followed during a content area spanning 12 weeks that focused on the Vasa era in Swedish history. The collected material consists of field notes, transcripts of peer group and whole-class interaction, samples of students' writing, and documented teaching material. Based on theoretical frameworks of literacy and classroom interaction, the analysis of the findings shows how the teacher, using resources such as texts, images, and one epi-sode of a documentary series, facilitated the students' initial immersion in the historical period and sup-ported their developed understanding. The teacher is shown to employ a dialogic communicative ap-proach while also introducing more abstract and content-relevant perspectives. Although the teacher positioned the students to consider representations of key historical figures, opportunities to critically analyze texts as historical sources were limited. The implications for shaping literacy practices in ways which promote Grade 6 students' development of disciplinary literacy in history are discussed.




How to Cite

Walldén, R. (2020). Envisioning history: Shaping literacy practices in the teaching of the early modern period in grade 6. L1-Educational Studies in Language and Literature, 20(1), 1–26. https://doi.org/10.17239/L1ESLL-2020.20.01.17