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
The Election of 1932: Clifford Berryman Cartoon

Donald A. Ritchie, Historian of the U.S. Senate, asks how a political [...] »

Narratives of Slavery

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

Sourcing a Primary Document
Photo, Geologist examining cuttings from wildcat well, Amarillo, Texas (LOC)

See sourcing in action, as a historian reads a document about the Scopes [...] »

Abolitionist Speeches by African American Women

How do the speeches of Sojourner Truth and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper [...] »

1853 Daguerreotype

What does an 1853 daguerreotype have to say? Plenty, says Frank Goodyear, [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Prologue to Studying the Emancipation Proclamation

An 8th-grade class analyzes letters about the Emancipation Proclamation.

[...] »
Teaching the Bill of Rights

Daunted by teaching the Bill of Rights and its complex vocabulary to [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Primary Sources: What Are They?

The National History Day’s guidelines for defining and locating [...] »

Making Sense of Documentary Photography
Photo, "Street Arabs in Sleeping...," Jacob A. Riis, c. 1880s, History Matters.

Textbook illustrations are often overlooked as historical evidence.

[...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
The Grammar of History Textbooks Part II: Questioning the Text
Marginalia, CHNM

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

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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

Using Historiography to Analyze the Mexican-American War
Print, "Bombardment of Vera Cruz," 1893-1896, J. Andre Castaigne, NYPL

Allow students to see that history as we know it is interpretation, [...] »

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 [...] »

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 [...] »