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Best Practices

In this series of videos, historian David Jaffee examines life in 19th century America from a unique perspective. Watch as he analyzes three ordinary objects and reveals their significance as symbols of economic, cultural, and social change. FIND OUT MORE »

Read and Learn

Examples of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking

What is the key line in Franklin D. Roosevelt's second inaugural address? [...] »

Photo, Ostrich reads newspaper of caretaker. Flickr

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

The Declaration of Independence. NARA

Historian Rosemarie Zagarri reads the Declaration of Independence closely, [...] »

A letter from Jasper Barney, LOC

Historian Chandra Manning analyzes Civil War letters from black and white Union [...] »

Stephen Decatur and his men retaking the USS Philadelphia

Two letters from 1800 Tripoli lead into a story of piracy, privateering, [...] »

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Video screencap, Organize Your Thinking to Critically Analyze Text, 27 Feb 2012

Discover the multiple strategies 5th-grade teacher Jennifer Brouhard uses in [...] »

Students filming documentaries as part of a JTHG project. Teachinghistory.org

Sixth graders in Prince William County film their interpretations of the First [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Oil paint over lithograph, Our Banner in the Sky, 1861, Frederic Edwin Church, T

Integrate these two guides into your curriculum to help students develop visual [...] »

Screenshot, "Written Document," National Archives

Find the National Archive's worksheets for analyzing a variety of primary [...] »

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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 [...] »

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

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

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

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

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