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Best Practices

In this series of videos, historian David Jaffee examines life in 19th century America from a unique perspective. Watch as he analyzes three ordinary objects and reveals their significance as symbols of economic, cultural, and social change. FIND OUT MORE »

Read and Learn

Examples of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking

Who was Jane Addams, and how is her article "Why Women Should Vote" still [...] »

Photo, Day 12.07 knowledge and understanding, July 12, 2009, frerieke, Flickr

Analyzing a source requires context for a more complete understanding. [...] »

Queen (letter). NYPL

Jefferson, surprised by the Louisiana Purchase? Maybe not. Historian Leah [...] »

Photo, 1932, U.S. Senate Historical Office

What can a photograph of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 reveal? Donald A. [...] »

Photo, Ostrich reads newspaper of caretaker. Flickr

On the website Historical Thinking Matters, a student reads aloud a speech by [...] »

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices

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

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

Students learing about the Bill of Rights. MCPS TAH

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

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources

Photo, _DSC0004, December 5, 2009, Eric Gilliland, Flickr

When visiting historical sites, sometimes you need a visual/emotional "hook" to [...] »

Screenshot, "Written Document," National Archives

Find the National Archive's worksheets for analyzing a variety of primary [...] »

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Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry

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

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

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 [...] »

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