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Best Practices

Oral histories and interviews are a unique form of historical documentation. This guide by Linda Shopes offers an overview of the various ways oral history can be integrated into classroom discussions. Though some of the techniques will have to be adapted for elementary students, the ideas Shopes presents are extremely useful. FIND OUT MORE »

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Examples of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking

John Brown

Chandra Manning discusses the song “John Brown's Body,” and how [...] »

FDR during a 1934 Fireside Chat. LOC

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

Teachers discussing Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address at a workshop

Teaching the Reconstruction? Ford's Theatre's Sarah Jencks leads teachers [...] »

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

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

Soldiers awaiting supplies in Vietnam. LOC

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

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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

Oil paint over lithograph, Our Banner in the Sky, 1861, Frederic Edwin Church, T

Integrate these two guides into your curriculum to help students develop visual [...] »

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

Print, "Bombardment of Vera Cruz," 1893-1896, J. Andre Castaigne, NYPL

Allow students to see that history as we know it is interpretation, perspective [...] »

Marginalia, CHNM

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

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 [...] »

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

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

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