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
Bill of Rights

Whitman Ridgway outlines some of the context in which the Bill of Rights was [...] »

1775 Colonial Newspaper Article

Smithsonian Barbara Clark Smith looks at what a colonial newspaper article [...] »

Women's Suffrage: Burroughs's Article

In the struggle for women's suffrage, how did African American women [...] »

Thomas Nast Cartoon

Today, we accept paper—and electronic—money as a fact of life. Historian [...] »

Daily Objects, 19th-century America

With the advent of industry and western expansion, U.S. businesses mass [...] »

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 [...] »

Geo-Literacy Project: Students Explore Their World

Teacher Eva La Mar's third graders become historians, writers, and [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Bringing History Home’s SOCC Analysis Technique
Photography, IMG_0856, 7 Aug 2009, Carlos Almendarez, Flickr CC

Explore the SOCC analysis technique with this great website.

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Evoking the Past

When visiting historical sites, sometimes you need a visual/emotional "hook [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
The Grammar of History Textbooks Part II: Questioning the Text
Marginalia, CHNM

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

Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

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

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

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 [...] »

Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

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