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
Japanese American Internment: Executive Order 9066

How did the World War II internment of Japanese Americans happen? Historian [...] »

Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King Jr.

What connections do documents related to the Jackie Robinson Testimonial [...] »

Cross-checking Sources and Testing Hypotheses
Photo, Police Evidence Room, November 14, 2008, th.omas, Flickr

Challenge students to gather evidence from multiple primary sources. Here, a [...] »

The Election of 1932: Photographs of FDR

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

Seeing (and Engaging in) Historical Thinking: A Tutorial

This interactive tutorial models a four-step process for analyzing [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Opening up the Textbook: Voices from My Lai

High school students use primary sources to question their textbook's [...] »

Massive Resistance through Political Cartoons

Watch 4th-graders analyze cartoons about Virginia and Brown v. Board of [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Scholars in Action: Analyzing 19th-Century Letters
Negative, "Letters. Posting of letters III," c.1920-1950, Theodor Horydczak, LoC

Watch a scholar interpret letters from labor activist and reformer Sarah [...] »

Key Concepts in Historical Thinking
Photo, Thinking of You, 12 July 2008, Fabiana Zonca, Flickr

Improve your historical analysis skills by learning about different types of [...] »

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 [...] »

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 [...] »

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 [...] »