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
Daily Objects, 19th-century America

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

Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty

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

Japanese American Internment: Ansel Adams Photos

If the U.S. interned you and your family, how would you respond?

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Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman

Can you trust a biography? Historian Tiya Miles analyzes an 1869 biography [...] »

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
Teaching the Bill of Rights

Daunted by teaching the Bill of Rights and its complex vocabulary to [...] »

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
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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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 Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
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 [...] »

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 [...] »

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 [...] »