Spotlight on Elementary Education

Oral histories and interviews are a unique form of historical documentation. This guide by Linda Shopes offers an overview of the various ways oral history can be integrated into classroom discussions. Though some of the techniques will have to be adapted for elementary students, the ideas Shopes presents are extremely useful. FIND OUT MORE »

Example of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking
FDR's Fireside Chats

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

1775 Colonial Newspaper Article

Smithsonian Barbara Clark Smith looks at what a colonial newspaper article [...] »

Narratives of Slavery

One institution, two very different perspectives. An expert contrasts [...] »

Japanese American Internment: Executive Order 9066

How did the World War II internment of Japanese Americans happen? Historian [...] »

Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman

Can you trust a biography? Historian Tiya Miles analyzes an 1869 biography [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
FDR's Fireside Chats

High school teacher Joe Jelen combines roleplaying and critical analysis—by [...] »

Historical Context and Roleplaying
Photo, Students on Stage at Holton Arms Schoo c. 1920-1950, Library of Congress

A 5th-grade teacher teaches historical context through roleplaying [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Key Concepts in Historical Thinking
Photo, Thinking of You, 12 July 2008, Fabiana Zonca, Flickr

Improve your historical analysis skills by learning about different types of [...] »

Evoking the Past

When visiting historical sites, sometimes you need a visual/emotional "hook [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
Opening Up the Textbook
Negative, "Schoolroom. Concho, Arizona," Russell Lee, Oct. 1940, LoC

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

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

Turn your students into 'master chefs' by using learning menus that allow [...] »

Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

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

The Grammar of History Textbooks Part II: Questioning the Text
Marginalia, CHNM

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

Children’s Voices from the Civil War
Negative, "Sgt. John Clem, U.S.A.," 1855-1865, Library of Congress

Help students identify with the past via children who lived through the [...] »