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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

Newspaper article published in the Patriot press in 1775

Smithsonian Barbara Clark Smith looks at what a colonial newspaper article says [...] »

In the struggle for women's suffrage, how did African American women represent [...] »

Photo, Col. T.M. Anderson and family. . . , 1897, Flickr Commons

With the advent of industry and western expansion, U.S. businesses mass [...] »

Harriet Tubman (left) and her family

Can you trust a biography? Historian Tiya Miles analyzes an 1869 biography of [...] »

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

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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. [...] »

Oil on canvas, ". . . Emancipation Proclamation. . . ," 1864, Bicknell, Senate

An 8th-grade class analyzes letters about the Emancipation Proclamation. [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Photo, George Gaskell and Colm Muircheartaigh, c1980s, LSE Library

Quantitative data, although seemingly daunting and impersonal, can help you [...] »

Photo, Thinking of You, 12 July 2008, Fabiana Zonca, Flickr

Improve your historical analysis skills by learning about different types of [...] »

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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

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 [...] »

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 [...] »

Photography, Cooking with Kids class, 25 Jan 2008, Penn State, Flickr CC

Turn your students into 'master chefs' by using learning menus that allow [...] »

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