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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

Soldiers awaiting supplies in Vietnam. LOC

Professor Meredith Lair examines a 1971 political cartoon and what it says [...] »

Ad, May 19, 1967, Frito-Lay, Gallery of Graphic Design

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

Photo, Is Anybody Home?, 2006, Pink Sherbet Photography, D Sharon Pruitt, Flickr

Excite students by introducing them to primary sources that answer questions [...] »

Photo, "Collecting books for readers. . . ," 1964, LSE Library, FLickr Commons

A student demonstrates thinking aloud reading two documents. [...] »

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

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

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

Detail. 1612 Map. John Smith

A 4th-grade teacher shows strategies for encouraging and supporting student [...] »

Serigraph, "On a John Brown Flight," c. 1945, Johnson, Smithsonian

How did people in the North feel about John Brown after his raid on Harpers [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Photography, Towards Whitelea Lane from Tansley Knoll Derbyshire, 11 Jun 2011, E

Discover historic landscapes with this guide to reading the land produced by [...] »

Image, Marginalia, CHNM

Work with oral history interviews as historical evidence. [...] »

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Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry

Marginalia, CHNM

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

Marginalia, CHNM

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

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

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

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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