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
John Brown's Body

Chandra Manning discusses the song “John Brown's Body,” and how music can be [...] »

1775 Colonial Newspaper Article

Smithsonian Barbara Clark Smith looks at what a colonial newspaper article [...] »

Visiting the George Mason Memorial

How can you get teachers thinking about monuments and memorials as secondary [...] »

Daily Objects, 19th-century America

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

A Close Look at the FDR Memorial

Historian Christopher Hamner visits the original Franklin D. [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Third Graders Analyzing Historical Sources

A 3rd-grade teacher leads her students through analysis of child labor [...] »

What Does It Mean to Be an American?

An 8th-grade teacher asks: Was early 20th-century America a "melting pot" or [...] »

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 [...] »

Analyzing Composition in Paintings

Incorporate art into lesson plans with this resource from The Metropolitan [...] »

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 [...] »

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 [...] »

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, [...] »

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 [...] »