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Best Practices

Watch as the song "John Brown's Body" is transformed into a primary source to instruct 4th-grade students about John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. By analyzing the song, students are able to grasp how contemporary northerners viewed John Brown shortly after his raid. FIND OUT MORE »

Read and Learn

Examples of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking

A letter from Jasper Barney, LOC

Historian Chandra Manning analyzes Civil War letters from black and white Union [...] »

Notices for Japanese-Americans to report to camps. LOC

How did the World War II internment of Japanese Americans happen? Historian [...] »

Soldiers awaiting supplies in Vietnam. LOC

Professor Meredith Lair examines a 1971 political cartoon and what it says [...] »

What do these letters from a women's rights activist reveal about social causes [...] »

Who was Jane Addams, and how is her article "Why Women Should Vote" still [...] »

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Lithograph, "Parole: Frieden! (Password: Peace!)," 1918, Library of Congress

Did two bullets begin WWI? Explore causation in your classroom. [...] »

Photo, 8th grade classroom in NYC. NHEC

An 8th-grade teacher asks: Was early 20th-century America a "melting pot" or a [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

film negative, Man working with a projector in a movie theater, 1958 Feb. 9, Mar

Transform film from a source of entertainment to a piece of historical evidence. [...] »

Photo. Illumination Ceremony at dawn. Flickr

So you don't live near Gettysburg or the Alamo—can you still teach with [...] »

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Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry

Marginalia, CHNM

Show your students how to challenge the authority gap between the textbook and [...] »

Poster, Williams, Brown & Earle, Inc., Grown Ups Enjoy Reading, Also., NYPL

Class discussion and personal inquiry builds an interactive relationship [...] »

Negative, "Schoolroom. Concho, Arizona," Russell Lee, Oct. 1940, LoC

Make the most of your textbook—engage students in close reading and [...] »

Marginalia, CHNM

Turn your textbook into a conversation by scanning its language for biases. [...] »

Negative, "Sgt. John Clem, U.S.A.," 1855-1865, Library of Congress

Help students identify with the past via children who lived through the Civil [...] »

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