Welcome to Best Practices

Intertextual Reading of Two Primary Documents
In Examples of Historical Thinking
Sourcing a Primary Document
In Examples of Historical Thinking

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
Civil War Letters

Historian Chandra Manning analyzes Civil War letters from black and white [...] »

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

Teaching the Reconstruction? Ford's Theatre's Sarah Jencks leads teachers [...] »

Jefferson's Confidential Letter to Congress

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

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 [...] »

FDR's Fireside Chats

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

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Recreating the Cuban Missile Crisis

Ninth-grade teacher Jamie Kimbrough asked her students to stand in Kennedy's [...] »

How to Introduce Students to Primary Sources

Introducing your students to primary sources for the first time? Watch [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Making Sense of Advertisements
Ad, 1954, Linit Perfect Laundry Starch, Ad*Access

Advertisements have surrounded us for years. How can you interpret them? [...] »

Thinking Like a Historian
graphic, detective, 13 Nov 2008, Flickr CC

Learn how to teach your students historical thinking with this informative [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
The Grammar of History Textbooks, Part I: Language Analysis
Marginalia, CHNM

The language of history textbooks challenges English language learners and [...] »

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, [...] »

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

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

Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

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 [...] »