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August 2009

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Let Us Know Your NHEC Favorites!

This summer, Julie Bell, an undergraduate history and education major at the University of Virginia, joined the National History Education Clearinghouse team as a summer intern. For the August enewsletter, we asked her to share some of her favorite things about the NHEC. We would love to hear about your favorite parts of the NHEC, too. Please send an email that includes what you like about the NHEC and why to info@teachinghistory.org. You might be featured in the next enewsletter!

History Content

Website Review: White House Tapes

“I love this website because it gives students an up-close-and-personal look into the White House and allows students to see our presidents as people, not just names in a textbook,” Julie Bell said. More than 2,500 hours of White House recordings by six American presidents between 1940 and 1973 are available on this website. Presidents include Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon. Explore…


Best Practices

Seeing (and Engaging in) Historical Thinking: An Interactive Tutorial

In this tutorial, viewers practice the SCIM historical thinking strategies—Summarizing, Contextualizing, Inferring, and Monitoring—through analyzing a letter written by George Washington to a spy for the Continental Army. “Too often teachers ask students to analyze a primary source without giving them any instruction on the analytical process. This tutorial provides a great way to clarify the steps in historical thinking,” Julie said. Watch the tutorial here.


Teaching Materials

Teaching Guide: Using Blogs in a History Classroom

Students of today relate more and more to technology and will welcome a different way of learning, such as blogs. Using a teacher-created blog will allow you and your students to exchange ideas in an asynchronous environment. “I like this guide because I find blogs to be fun and useful in my history and government classes! It’s nice to be able to share your opinion about a topic on your own time,” Julie said. This teaching guide will assist teachers who want to set up blogs for their history classrooms. More...


Teaching Materials

Ask a Master Teacher: Seeking Fiction and Nonfiction Books for 9th and 11th Graders

“I personally love reading historical fiction and plan to integrate topical books in my own history classroom one day. This is a great list to start with,” Julie said. Some of the best and most easily available sources for lists of appropriate books for 9th and 11th graders come from school districts and teachers who have compiled and shared them on the Internet. An excellent example can be found at Oxnard Unified High School District. This annotated list includes fiction and nonfiction titles related to high school U.S. history. Read more options here.


TAH Grants

Project Spotlight: Multimedia Classroom Resources

“I love New Jersey’s multimedia classroom because it has everything a teacher could need! The website contains three units: The Revolution, The Progressive Era, and The Market Revolution with online lectures, lesson plans, primary sources, field trip ideas, etc. The best part is that everything on the site complies with New Jersey state history standards which the site lists next to every resource,” Julie said. Explore here.


Professional Development

Tools for Teachers: Social Explorer

“This is so cool, especially if you love examining colorful maps like I do. It allows you to sort through census material from the 20th century and customize your own maps. For example, I can search the demographic makeup of New York City and show students different ethnic neighborhoods,” Julie said. Read more about Social Explorer, which provides easy access to census demographics about the United States from 1940 to 2000, here.