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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

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

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

The Declaration of Independence. NARA

Historian Rosemarie Zagarri reads the Declaration of Independence closely, [...] »

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

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

Soldiers awaiting supplies in Vietnam. LOC

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

Diaries give a personal view of historical events. Historian Peter Hahn [...] »

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

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 [...] »

Lithograph, "The people of these United States. . . ," 1864, Kellogg, LoC

This 8th-grade teacher shows how you can make primary and secondary source [...] »

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Photo. Spanish-American War Soldiers. Flickr

Every town has a scattering of historical markers and statues. Discover what [...] »

Lithograph, The Fifteenth Amendment, 30 May 1870, Thomas Kelly, LOC

Check out these sites for primary sources grouped into sets by topic, grade- [...] »

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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 [...] »

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. [...] »

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

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

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

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

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