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November 2008

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New Resource

National History Education Clearinghouse

Welcome to the first e-newsletter of the National History Education Clearinghouse, teachinghistory.org, where you will find the latest resources and best practices for teaching American history in your K-12 classroom...and it's FREE. Click here to learn more!

History Content

The Election Is Here!

PBS Teachers, a multimedia site of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) for preK–12 teachers, developed Access, Analyze, Act: a Blueprint for 21st-century Civic Engagement. This Curriculum Guide and Web Resource discusses how to use online platforms to engage students and help them develop critical thinking skills. Explore other election related resources you can use immediately here.

Best Practices

Video: Using Maps as Primary Sources

This website shows a 4th-grade teacher in action teaching a lesson on John Smith's 17th-century map of Virginia. Source Analysis, a feature created for the Teaching American History grant Foundations of U.S. History: Virginia History as American History, has three sections focused on analyzing and teaching this primary source: scholar analysis, teacher analysis, and classroom practice. More...

Teaching Materials

Struggling with a Tough Question:

Ask a Master Teacher

Primary Source Documents: How do I bridge the language barrier? Don’t be shy about using an excerpt from a document like James Otis' speech on the Writs of Assistance rather than the entire speech. While many of us cringe at cutting rich historical documents for our students, it is a necessary step if we are to actually use them in our classrooms. Read more or ask your own question here.

Issues and Research

Research Highlights!

In 2005, Susan de la Paz published Teaching Historical Reasoning and Writing: A Classroom Intervention, one of the few experimental studies that investigated teaching for historical thinking in real classrooms. The study was part of a Teaching American History grant and involved 70 eighth graders, including 11 with learning disabilities. Their final essays were significantly better than those of 62 control students who did not have the curriculum. More...

TAH Grants

The Challenge of Evaluating Teaching American History Programs

What should Teaching American History (TAH) evaluations evaluate? Of course, the most obvious answer would be the success of the programs. But what constitutes success? This is a much more challenging question. Bruce VanSledright from the University of Maryland, College Park, explores the ins and outs of TAH evaluation here.

Professional Development

Special Teaching Sessions at the AHA!

The American Historical Association invites history and social studies teachers to come to the 123rd Annual Meeting in New York City, NY, in January 2009. Educators can pick from over 200 sessions, including a day-long workshop for history teachers on Saturday, January 3, with luncheon speaker Sam Wineburg, and special teaching sessions. More...