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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

FDR during a 1934 Fireside Chat. LOC

Historian Allida Black analyzes FDR's April 28, 1935 Fireside Chat. What ideas [...] »

Portrait of John Frederick William Herschel (1792-1871), Flickr

This interactive tutorial models a four-step process for analyzing historical [...] »

How did the women's suffrage movement use the rise of journalism to its [...] »

Photo, Geologist examining cuttings from wildcat well, Amarillo, Texas (LOC)

See sourcing in action, as a historian reads a document about the Scopes Trial. [...] »

Photo, Police Evidence Room, November 14, 2008, th.omas, Flickr

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

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Students learing about the Bill of Rights. MCPS TAH

Daunted by teaching the Bill of Rights and its complex vocabulary to students? [...] »

Photo, Students analyzing the Declaration of Independence. CHNM

Trying to promote more productive and engaging discussions? [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

"Rambles. . . ," American Publishing Company, 1886, David Rumsey Map Coll.

What questions should you ask when viewing maps as historical evidence? [...] »

Negative, "Letters. Posting of letters III," c.1920-1950, Theodor Horydczak, LoC

Watch a scholar interpret letters from labor activist and reformer Sarah Bagley. [...] »

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Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry

Marginalia, CHNM

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

Poster, Williams, Brown & Earle, Inc., Grown Ups Enjoy Reading, Also., NYPL

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

Marginalia, CHNM

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

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 [...] »

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