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
Smithsonian American Art Museum: "Acehlous and Hercules"

Analyzing a massive primary source? Divide it up! Teachers at the [...] »

Piscataway Park and Tobacco Farming

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

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Teaching with 19th-Century Art

Watch Suzannah Niepold of the Smithsonian American Art Museum guide teachers [...] »

Women's Suffrage Photographs

How did the women's suffrage movement use the rise of journalism to its [...] »

Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener"

Is reading a piece of historic literature once enough? Not if you want to [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Teaching Strategies for Museums: Graphic Organizers
Detail, KWL graphic organizer

Eighth-grade teacher Amy Trenkle keeps students on-task before, during, and [...] »

The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Teacher Bill Kendrat demonstrates the techniques he uses to draw students in [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Reading Like a Historian
Photo, We <3 Students Who <3 Reading, Mar. 9, 2010, Enokson, Flickr

Use the Stanford History Education Group's curriculum to teach historical [...] »

Teaching with Monuments and Memorials

Every town has a scattering of historical markers and statues. Discover what [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
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, [...] »

Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

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 [...] »

Children’s Voices from the Civil War
Negative, "Sgt. John Clem, U.S.A.," 1855-1865, Library of Congress

Help students identify with the past via children who lived through the [...] »