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
Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King Jr.

What connections do documents related to the Jackie Robinson Testimonial [...] »

Slave Receipts

What do slave receipts reveal? Ever considered using similar documents to [...] »

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 [...] »

Japanese American Internment: Executive Order 9066

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

FDR's Second Inaugural Address

What is the key line in Franklin D. Roosevelt's second inaugural address? [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Foundations of American History: John Brown Song

How did people in the North feel about John Brown after his raid on Harpers [...] »

What Does It Mean to Be an American?

An 8th-grade teacher asks: Was early 20th-century America a "melting pot" or [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Teaching with Museum Collections
Photo, Toy Cradleboard, Nez Perce National Historical Park, NEPE 1629

National Park Service lesson plans, teaching materials, and vibrant images [...] »

Evoking the Past

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

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

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

Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

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 [...] »