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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

Portrait of Bill Tatnall playing the guitar during a 1935 recording expedition

Written primary sources only tell you so much. To learn about history that was [...] »

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? [...] »

Photo, Bayard Rustin, 1964, Library of Congress

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

Letters from U.S. soldiers during the Philippine-American War reveal [...] »

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Photo, Students analyzing the Declaration of Independence. CHNM

Trying to promote more productive and engaging discussions? [...] »

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

Screencap, Native American mask detail, 18 Jul 2012, American's History in the M

In this series of exercises, students are presented with Native American masks [...] »

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

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

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Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry

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

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

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

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

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 [...] »

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