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Best Practices

Watch as the song "John Brown's Body" is transformed into a primary source to instruct 4th-grade students about John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry. By analyzing the song, students are able to grasp how contemporary northerners viewed John Brown shortly after his raid. FIND OUT MORE »

Read and Learn

Examples of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking

Receipt, for a slave named Bett from Francis Moore, June 2, 1764, NYPL

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

Jackie Robinson with Martin Luther King Jr, and other prominent leaders

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

Photo, Col. T.M. Anderson and family. . . , 1897, Flickr Commons

With the advent of industry and western expansion, U.S. businesses mass [...] »

Video screencap, 31 July 2012

How do the speeches of Sojourner Truth and Frances Ellen Watkins Harper differ [...] »

In the struggle for women's suffrage, how did African American women represent [...] »

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Photo, William Reed filming "The Romance of Runnibede", Sydney, 1927. Flickr

Watch this 9th-grade teacher lead his class in planning, writing, and [...] »

Oil on canvas, ". . . Emancipation Proclamation. . . ," 1864, Bicknell, Senate

An 8th-grade class analyzes letters about the Emancipation Proclamation. [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Photo, A private interview between a young immigrant . . . , Edwin Levick, NYPL

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

Photo. Illumination Ceremony at dawn. Flickr

So you don't live near Gettysburg or the Alamo—can you still teach with [...] »

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Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry

Photography, Cooking with Kids class, 25 Jan 2008, Penn State, Flickr CC

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

Negative, "Schoolroom. Concho, Arizona," Russell Lee, Oct. 1940, LoC

Make the most of your textbook—engage students in close reading and [...] »

Print, "Bombardment of Vera Cruz," 1893-1896, J. Andre Castaigne, NYPL

Allow students to see that history as we know it is interpretation, perspective [...] »

Negative, "Sgt. John Clem, U.S.A.," 1855-1865, Library of Congress

Help students identify with the past via children who lived through the Civil [...] »

Marginalia, CHNM

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

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