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
Seeing (and Engaging in) Historical Thinking: A Tutorial

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

Slave Receipts

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

Paintings About Segregation

Textbooks describe segregation in a few pages, but these artists share [...] »

Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

How does the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial in Washington, DC, depict Grant and [...] »

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 [...] »

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
Secondary Sources: What Are They?
Photo, Final Day, April 11, 2005, *styler, Flickr

National History Day identifies secondary sources along with [...] »

Picturing America
Photomechanical print, Young America and the Moving-Picture Show, 1910, L.M. Gla

Analyze art in the classroom with these resources from the Picturing [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
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, [...] »

Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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

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

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

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

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