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Best Practices

In this series of videos, historian David Jaffee examines life in 19th century America from a unique perspective. Watch as he analyzes three ordinary objects and reveals their significance as symbols of economic, cultural, and social change. FIND OUT MORE »

Read and Learn

Examples of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking

Bartleby, The Scrivener in Putnam's Monthly in November and December 1853

Is reading a piece of historic literature once enough? Not if you want to get [...] »

Photo, Frederick Douglass, New York Public Library Digital Gallery

Use autobiographies to deconstruct views of slavery and historical heroes. [...] »

FDR during a 1934 Fireside Chat. LOC

Historian Allida Black analyzes FDR's April 28, 1935 Fireside Chat. What ideas [...] »

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

1804 inventory listing possessions of Thomas Springer of Delaware

What can an inventory tell you about daily life in Delaware in 1804? Curator [...] »

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Detail, KWL graphic organizer

Eighth-grade teacher Amy Trenkle keeps students on-task before, during, and [...] »

Lithograph, "The people of these United States. . . ," 1864, Kellogg, LoC

This 8th-grade teacher shows how you can make primary and secondary source [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Photo, V-mail, February 1943, U.S. Office of War Information, LoC

Source and approach letters and diaries with historical thinking. [...] »

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

Print, "Bombardment of Vera Cruz," 1893-1896, J. Andre Castaigne, NYPL

Allow students to see that history as we know it is interpretation, perspective [...] »

Marginalia, CHNM

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

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 [...] »

Marginalia, CHNM

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

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

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

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