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Best Practices

What exactly are elementary students capable of? Third grade teacher Eva La Mar challenged her students to become historians, writers, and videographers through the exploration of a local community site. By doing so, students learned necessary literacy skills and the importance of historic preservation. FIND OUT MORE »

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Examples of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking

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

Watch Smithsonian curator Barbara Clark Smith discuss John Smith’s Map of [...] »

1804 inventory listing possessions of Thomas Springer of Delaware

What can an inventory tell you about daily life in Delaware in 1804? Curator [...] »

Diaries give a personal view of historical events. Historian Peter Hahn [...] »

FDR during a 1934 Fireside Chat. LOC

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

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Photo, Vietnam, 1968

High school students use primary sources to question their textbook's narrative [...] »

Washington Crossing the Delaware. LOC

Elementary teacher Karen Eanes hooks her students with engaging historical [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Photo, V-mail, February 1943, U.S. Office of War Information, LoC

Source and approach letters and diaries with historical thinking. [...] »

Vocal score, "Ziegfeld follies. Borrow from me," c. 1912

Don't overlook song as a way of understanding the past. [...] »

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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 [...] »

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

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

Marginalia, CHNM

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

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 [...] »

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