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Best Practices

What exactly are elementary students capable of? Third grade teacher Eva La Mar challenged her students to become historians, writers, and videographers through the exploration of a local community site. By doing so, students learned necessary literacy skills and the importance of historic preservation. FIND OUT MORE »

Read and Learn

Examples of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking

Photo, Bayard Rustin, 1964, Library of Congress

If students lack historical context, they can miss the substance of a reading. [...] »

Ad, May 19, 1967, Frito-Lay, Gallery of Graphic Design

Potato chip marketing—how a luxury item became an everyday U.S. food. [...] »

Watch Smithsonian curator Barbara Clark Smith discuss John Smith’s Map of [...] »

John Brown

Chandra Manning discusses the song “John Brown's Body,” and how [...] »

Receipt, for a slave named Bett from Francis Moore, June 2, 1764, NYPL

What do slave receipts reveal? Ever considered using similar documents to teach? [...] »

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

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

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

Detail. 1612 Map. John Smith

A 4th-grade teacher shows strategies for encouraging and supporting student [...] »

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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. [...] »

Photography, IMG_0856, 7 Aug 2009, Carlos Almendarez, Flickr CC

Explore the SOCC analysis technique with this great website. [...] »

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Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry

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

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

Marginalia, CHNM

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

Marginalia, CHNM

The language of history textbooks challenges English language learners and [...] »

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

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

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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