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
Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

How does the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial in Washington, DC, depict Grant and [...] »

Massive Resistance Political Cartoons

Watch J. Douglas Smith discuss the Massive Resistance policy enacted by U.S [...] »

1804 Inventory

What can an inventory tell you about daily life in Delaware in 1804? Curator [...] »

Close Reading for Vocabulary, Context, and Tone
Photo, Day 12.07 knowledge and understanding, July 12, 2009, frerieke, Flickr

Analyzing a source requires context for a more complete understanding.

[...] »
Declaration of Independence

Historian Rosemarie Zagarri reads the Declaration of Independence closely, [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Exploring Historical Texts in a Discussion-Based Class

Trying to promote more productive and engaging discussions?

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Using Maps as Primary Sources

A 4th-grade teacher shows strategies for encouraging and supporting student [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Picturing America
Photomechanical print, Young America and the Moving-Picture Show, 1910, L.M. Gla

Analyze art in the classroom with these resources from the Picturing [...] »

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
Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

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

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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

Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

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 [...] »