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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

John Brown

Chandra Manning discusses the song “John Brown's Body,” and how [...] »

Queen (letter). NYPL

Jefferson, surprised by the Louisiana Purchase? Maybe not. Historian Leah [...] »

Photo, Ostrich reads newspaper of caretaker. Flickr

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

Photo, Bayard Rustin, 1964, Library of Congress

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

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

Photo, Students analyzing the Declaration of Independence. CHNM

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

Photo, Dressmaking class, Manzanar. . . , Ansel Adams, 1943, LoC

Two practices help students to make sense of primary source documents on the [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Photography, Towards Whitelea Lane from Tansley Knoll Derbyshire, 11 Jun 2011, E

Discover historic landscapes with this guide to reading the land produced by [...] »

Photomechanical print, Young America and the Moving-Picture Show, 1910, L.M. Gla

Analyze art in the classroom with these resources from the Picturing America [...] »

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Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry

Marginalia, CHNM

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

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

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

Marginalia, CHNM

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

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

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

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