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: "Westward the Course of Empire"

Watch Suzannah Niepold guide TAH teachers through analyzing the differences [...] »

1775 Colonial Newspaper Article

Smithsonian Barbara Clark Smith looks at what a colonial newspaper article [...] »

Reading for Context
Photo, Bayard Rustin, 1964, Library of Congress

If students lack historical context, they can miss the substance of a [...] »

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Teaching with 19th-Century Art

Watch Suzannah Niepold of the Smithsonian American Art Museum guide teachers [...] »

Creative Memo on Lay's Products

Potato chip marketing—how a luxury item became an everyday U.S. food.

[...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
What Does It Mean to Be an American?

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

Integrating Language Arts and History

Elementary teacher Karen Eanes hooks her students with engaging historical [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Why Historical Thinking Matters
photography, Statue of Captain Parker, 1902, Detroit Photographic Co, LOC

See this Flash movie for a peek at how historians read and question sources [...] »

People as Primary Sources: Conducting Interviews
Photo, A private interview between a young immigrant . . . , Edwin Levick, NYPL

The Bracero Archive’s tutorial shows how to conduct successful interviews. [...] »

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 [...] »

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

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

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

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

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 [...] »