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Best Practices

Engage students in a creative learning activity that will teach them to understand the importance of multiple perspectives and historical context. Though this unit focuses exclusively on colonial and pre-Revolutionary America, the concepts and practices outlined in the activity can be adapted for other periods in history. FIND OUT MORE »

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Examples of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking

Photo, [Old hermit Roy Ozmer. . . ], 1957, Flickr Commons

Watch this flash movie for a peek at how historians read and question sources. [...] »

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

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

Soldiers awaiting supplies in Vietnam. LOC

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

How did the women's suffrage movement use the rise of journalism to its [...] »

John Brown

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

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Photo, "Rural school girl. . . ," John Vachon, April 1943, LoC, Flickr Commons

Teacher Eva La Mar's third graders become historians, writers, and [...] »

Serigraph, "On a John Brown Flight," c. 1945, Johnson, Smithsonian

How did people in the North feel about John Brown after his raid on Harpers [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Photography, Towards Whitelea Lane from Tansley Knoll Derbyshire, 11 Jun 2011, E

Discover historic landscapes with this guide to reading the land produced by [...] »

Watercolor, "Ou présente à signer. . . ," Claude Louis Desrais, 1783?, LoC

The National History Day’s guidelines for defining and locating primary sources. [...] »

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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 [...] »

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

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

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, "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 [...] »

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