In this session we will review 5 essential historical thinking skills (thinking across scale, claim testing, narrative, causation, integrating multiple disciplines, reading and writing), and how to help middle school students master them using resources in the Big History Project. When armed with historical thinking skills, students move from memorizing to immersing themselves in answering big questions, looking at things from different perspectives, and developing a lasting understanding of the world around us. This session will demonstrate how to help students develop the skills in a progressive manner. Teachers will have an opportunity to wear their student hats and get hands on experience with the content and activities that develop these skills. Discussion will explore how to scaffold skill development for different learners. Attendees can walk away with content, tools and course plans to help them successfully incorporate their learnings in the classroom as they implement the new Arizona Social Studies Standards.