Students will be able to identify all of the former school buildings for Dunbar High School from photographs.

Students will be able to locate all of the former school sites on a map.

Students will be able to explain why the creation of Dunbar High School was necessary.

Students will be able to evaluate the early significance of Dunbar High School to the African American community.



Thinking Like a Historian powerpoint and poster.

Nearby History Textbook

Historical Thinking Text

Blank Map of DC

School website http:// www.dunbardc.org/aboutus

Photographs of 15th Street Presbyterian Church, Minor, Sumner School, M St. High School, Old Dunbar and New Dunbar 

Creator: COLORED HIGH SCHOOL. (1905, Sep 19). The Washington Post (1877-1922). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/144605691?accountid=8285

Warm Up

What are some(3-5) ways that students show pride in their school?

Describe the architecture of the school in the picture and note how how schools have changed throughout your lifetime.

Why do you think they built schools to look like this?

New Material

Students will be given a pre-test designed to determine their understanding of Historical Thinking and measure their prior knowledge about the history of Dunbar. 

Students will be introduced to the concept of Historical Thinking and the necessasry verbiage for this class.

Students will formulate an initial hypothesis prior to the History Workshop and attempt to defend their position without any additional sources to influence their opinions.

Once all student voices have been heard students will be directed to http://www.dunbardc.org/home/aboutus to read the school sanctioned version of the History of Dunbar. From this point on students will have to verify and identify the sources used on the website in order verify the veracity of the version that has been placed on the website.

 Students will then begin their first History Workshop as the classroom is transformed into a History Lab. Students will be grouped and given an enevelope that contains several pictures. They will then examine the photographs for clues about what life was like for students at Dunbar during the early years. Each group will record their findings in their journals.


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M Street High School Lesson Plan

This is a lesson plan that was done to teach people about the History of M Street

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The class will essentially be broken down into three parts. First 30 minutes students will be taking pre-test. Next 30 minutes students will be introduced to the basics of the Historical Thinking and the final 30 minutes will be used for Questions and Reflection. 

Students will be given Handouts intended to compare Historical Thinking and 'Traditional' teaching to prepare the students for the transition during this unit. Quotes taken from Nearby History Exploring the Past around you by David Kyvig and Myron Marty, will be used to draw students in to the stated question. Why study history? Next concepts from Sam Winburg's Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts will be introduced and given a Dunbar spin. Each term that we adopt will include the word Historical at the beginning to remind students that in this class we all look at all things from the perspective of a would be historian.

During the History Work Shop the students will work together with the primary source materials provided in an envelope. The primary and secondary sources provided in the envelope will include pictures of the M st. school building along with students and teachers from the early years, as well as a map of the city pictures of the 15th street Presbyterian church and the Charles Sumner School buldings. My job will be to facilitate questioning between groups and provide a sounding board for potential historical hypothesis.

I will also be checking with students as they plot the early sites for Dunbar on a map of the city. 


Students will be able to access the M Street Lesson Plan from engrade and will have to identify 3 inconsistencies found in the History of Dunbar on the school website and the history as presented in the M Street Lesson plan 


Students will complete  a pre-test that will be used to gage their current knowledge of Dunbar's history. 

Students will show mastery of the objectives by producing a defensible Hypothesis that explores the relevance of Historic Dunbar to the Present Dunbar.

Closure and Reflection

Students will use the last 30 minutes of class for closure and reflection,20 minutes for sharing and 10 minutes of class to write in their journals. 

Each lesson will end with a reflective writing assignment that is meant for the students to demonstrate the relavenace of the assignment to their everyday lives. Examples of possible topics will include; How does the Old Dunbar compare to the New Dunbar? What can current Dunbar students do to ensure that they leave a worthwhile legacy? In what ways is your personal legacy connected to our school? Students will be allowed to share for extra credit opportunities.