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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

FDR during a 1934 Fireside Chat. LOC

Historian Allida Black analyzes FDR's April 28, 1935 Fireside Chat. What ideas [...] »

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

Photo, Is Anybody Home?, 2006, Pink Sherbet Photography, D Sharon Pruitt, Flickr

Excite students by introducing them to primary sources that answer questions [...] »

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 [...] »

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

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Screencapture, Mart McKenzie's classroom

Introducing your students to primary sources for the first time? Watch fourth- [...] »

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

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

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

graphic, detective, 13 Nov 2008, Flickr CC

Learn how to teach your students historical thinking with this informative [...] »

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

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

Turn your textbook into a conversation by scanning its language for biases. [...] »

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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