Spotlight on Elementary Education

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 »

Example of Historical Thinking

Scholars, students, and teachers model historical thinking
Piscataway Park and Tobacco Farming

What was it like being a small farmer in the 1700s? Follow a tour group [...] »

Letters from the Philippines

Letters from U.S. soldiers during the Philippine-American War reveal [...] »

Frederick Douglass's Autobiographies

Use autobiographies to deconstruct views of slavery and historical heroes. [...] »

Smithsonian American Art Museum: "Inventing a Better Mousetrap"

Take a look at artifacts from the past—what might they be? Teachers model [...] »

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: Personalizing History

Make large-scale historic events like the Holocaust personal with artifacts [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Recreating the Cuban Missile Crisis

Ninth-grade teacher Jamie Kimbrough asked her students to stand in Kennedy's [...] »

Causes of World War I

Did two bullets begin WWI? Explore causation in your classroom.

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Making Sense of Films
Poster, "Stone walls and chains do not make a prison --- for Houdini," LoC

Work with early twentieth-century film as historical evidence. What [...] »

Analyzing Composition in Paintings

Incorporate art into lesson plans with this resource from The Metropolitan [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
Opening Up the Textbook
Negative, "Schoolroom. Concho, Arizona," Russell Lee, Oct. 1940, LoC

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

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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

The Grammar of History Textbooks, Part I: Language Analysis
Marginalia, CHNM

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

The Grammar of History Textbooks Part II: Questioning the Text
Marginalia, CHNM

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

Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

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