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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

Photo, Day 12.07 knowledge and understanding, July 12, 2009, frerieke, Flickr

Analyzing a source requires context for a more complete understanding. [...] »

Photo, Baseball game, Manzanar Relocation Center, Calif., 1945, Ansel Adams, LoC

If the U.S. interned you and your family, how would you respond? [...] »

Video screencap, 31 July 2012

How do the speeches of Sojourner Truth and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper differ [...] »

Photo, Ostrich reads newspaper of caretaker. Flickr

On the website Historical Thinking Matters, a student reads aloud a speech by [...] »

Watch J. Douglas Smith discuss the Massive Resistance policy enacted by U.S. [...] »

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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, Negro going in colored entrance of movie house, 1939

Watch 4th-graders analyze cartoons about Virginia and Brown v. Board of [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Photo, Final Day, April 11, 2005, *styler, Flickr

National History Day identifies secondary sources along with suggestions for [...] »

Photo, Toy Cradleboard, Nez Perce National Historical Park, NEPE 1629

National Park Service lesson plans, teaching materials, and vibrant images [...] »

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Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry

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 [...] »

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

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

Marginalia, CHNM

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

Marginalia, CHNM

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

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