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Report on the State of History Education
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High School Introduction

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Are you looking for a hook to teach about life in post-war America or strategies for teaching historical thinking skills? Wondering whether digital storytelling will really help students learn about the past?

Teachinghistory.org, a rich resource for teaching American history, has answers. Explore current best practices, find primary sources and classroom activities, and discover resources for teaching history in new, exciting ways.

Let’s take a closer look at three sections—History Content, Teaching Materials, and Best Practices.

History Content

Instead of searching the endless sea of online resources, simply click on History Content, and then Website Reviews. Imagine you're teaching about women's lives in the first half of the 20th century. Here's a website with more than 7,000 ads—from beauty culture to World War II campaigns. These show gendered ideals, as well as the changing roles of women in the workplace and the marketplace.

Looking for multimedia to use in tomorrow’s class or a way to learn more about a complicated topic? Search History in Multimedia to find everything from a short history of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire to an electronic field trip on the history of music to a lecture on the origins of the Vietnam War.

Teaching Materials and Best Practices

Teachinghistory.org goes beyond easy access to content and resources. It also demonstrates innovative ways to teach about the past. Lesson Plan Reviews provide good models and a rubric for assessing a lesson's quality. Reviews help you think about how to choose from the millions of lessons available online, including those you find through our Lesson Plan Gateway. Teaching Guides offer a range of strategies from using blogs in the classroom to creating structured academic controversy. Watch video of historians in action talking about how they make sense of the past. This clip focuses on a 1957 market report about selling more potato chips to American consumers. Using Primary Sources focuses on tools for analyzing evidence of the past from letters to objects to film. Find handouts from the National Archives or good questions to ask of advertisements. Teaching with Textbooks presents creative ways to use the tools at your fingertips. Questioning Textbook Authority, for example, outlines steps for teaching students to read critically and to ask questions of all sources.

More Resources

Keep exploring Teachinghistory.org to find many other features. Visit the blog or follow us on Twitter for the latest content and resources. Ask a Historian, Master Teacher, or a Digital Historian when you come across a problem or interesting question.

Whether you're looking for content or methods, Teachinghistory.org can lead the way.

Image Credits
  • Ad*Access
  • History Matters
  • Martha Ballard's Diary Online
  • Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea
  • National Archives and Records Administration
  • Peculiar Beauty
  • Shorpy
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • Web Poster Wizard