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
Smithsonian American Art Museum: "Acehlous and Hercules"

Analyzing a massive primary source? Divide it up! Teachers at the [...] »

Touring Monticello

Tour Monticello with TAH teachers and learn about the history behind Thomas [...] »

Pockets from the Past: Daily Life at Monticello

What do the contents of pockets say about their owners? TAH teachers model [...] »

Cross-checking Sources and Testing Hypotheses
Photo, Police Evidence Room, November 14, 2008, th.omas, Flickr

Challenge students to gather evidence from multiple primary sources. Here, a [...] »

National Portrait Gallery: Teaching with 19th-Century Portraits

Watch Briana Zavadil White introduce teachers to portraits of inventors and [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
FDR's Fireside Chats

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

Recreating the Cuban Missile Crisis

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

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Making Sense of Numbers
Photo, George Gaskell and Colm Muircheartaigh, c1980s, LSE Library

Quantitative data, although seemingly daunting and impersonal, can help you [...] »

Integrating Material Culture into the Classroom
Photo, me & Jackie's antique shopping field trip, tray, 2010, Flickr

Use this guide developed by PBS and the Antiques Roadshow to teach [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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

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 [...] »

The Grammar of History Textbooks, Part I: Language Analysis
Marginalia, CHNM

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

Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

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

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, [...] »