Welcome to Best Practices

Massive Resistance through Political Cartoons
In Teaching in Action
Scholars in Action: Analyzing 19th-Century Letters
In Using Primary Sources

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 [...] »

Slave Receipts

What do slave receipts reveal? Ever considered using similar documents to [...] »

Narratives of Slavery

One institution, two very different perspectives. An expert contrasts [...] »

Two Blues Songs

Written primary sources only tell you so much. To learn about history that [...] »

Cherokee Law of Blood

A Cherokee Nation Supreme Court document reveals the fluidity of racial [...] »

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 [...] »

Causal Reasoning

The fictional Alphonse the Camel provides insight for one classroom.

[...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Critically Analyzing Information Sources
Photography, Montana receives honorary degree from American University, 7 June 1

This source from Cornell University's Olin and Uris Libraries includes [...] »

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.

[...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
The Grammar of History Textbooks, Part I: Language Analysis
Marginalia, CHNM

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

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, [...] »

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 [...] »

Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

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