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
Ford's Theatre: Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

Ford's Theatre Society's Sarah Jencks leads teachers through Abraham Lincoln [...] »

Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty

Educators tour the NMAAHC exhibit "Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: [...] »

My Lai Massacre Political Cartoon

Professor Meredith Lair examines a 1971 political cartoon and what it says [...] »

1853 Daguerreotype

What does an 1853 daguerreotype have to say? Plenty, says Frank Goodyear, [...] »

Smithsonian American Art Museum: "Inventing a Better Mousetrap"

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

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Historical Context and Roleplaying
Photo, Students on Stage at Holton Arms Schoo c. 1920-1950, Library of Congress

A 5th-grade teacher teaches historical context through roleplaying [...] »

Reading and Thinking Aloud to Understand

Two practices help students to make sense of primary source documents on the [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Focus on Film
film negative, Man working with a projector in a movie theater, 1958 Feb. 9, Mar

Transform film from a source of entertainment to a piece of historical [...] »

Interactivity
Photography, James Lequlla: Newsboy, May 1910, Lewis Wickes Hine, LOC

Teach students how to utilize primary sources with this game from [...] »

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 [...] »

Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

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

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

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

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, [...] »

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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