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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

What do these letters from a women's rights activist reveal about social causes [...] »

Photo, Baseball game, Manzanar Relocation Center, Calif., 1945, Ansel Adams, LoC

If the U.S. interned you and your family, how would you respond? [...] »

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

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

Photo, . . .  a Cherokee Indian 'squaw' and her 'papoose, 1939, TN Archives

A Cherokee Nation Supreme Court document reveals the fluidity of racial [...] »

Stephen Decatur and his men retaking the USS Philadelphia

Two letters from 1800 Tripoli lead into a story of piracy, privateering, [...] »

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Photo, Camp X-Ray, Craig P. Strawser, January 8, 2006, Navy.mil

An 8th-grade teacher gets to the big picture via a specific historical case. [...] »

Lithograph, "Parole: Frieden! (Password: Peace!)," 1918, Library of Congress

Did two bullets begin WWI? Explore causation in your classroom. [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Screencapture, New Bedford, National Park Service hompage

Looking for new ideas on how to teach with the historic places in your [...] »

Photo, Thinking of You, 12 July 2008, Fabiana Zonca, Flickr

Improve your historical analysis skills by learning about different types of [...] »

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Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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