Welcome to Best Practices

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
FDR's Second Inaugural Address

What is the key line in Franklin D. Roosevelt's second inaugural address? [...] »

An Introduction to Historical Thinking and Reading
Photo, [Old hermit Roy Ozmer. . . ], 1957, Flickr Commons

Watch this flash movie for a peek at how historians read and question [...] »

Civil War Letters

Historian Chandra Manning analyzes Civil War letters from black and white [...] »

FDR's Fireside Chats

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

The Election of 1932: Photographs of FDR

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

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Of the Student, For the Student, By the Student

Sixth graders in Prince William County film their interpretations of the [...] »

Prologue to Studying the Emancipation Proclamation

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

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Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Primary Source Sets on the Web

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

Thinking Like a Historian
graphic, detective, 13 Nov 2008, Flickr CC

Learn how to teach your students historical thinking with this informative [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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

Using Historiography to Analyze the Mexican-American War
Print, "Bombardment of Vera Cruz," 1893-1896, J. Andre Castaigne, NYPL

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

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 [...] »