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
Smithsonian American Art Museum: "Inventing a Better Mousetrap"

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

1853 Daguerreotype

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

Slave Receipts

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

Civil War Letters

Historian Chandra Manning analyzes Civil War letters from black and white [...] »

The Salem Witch Trials

Absolving the guilty and punishing the innocent. Historian Elizabeth Reis [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Students in the Community

Is a school an island? James Liou talks about working to integrate schools [...] »

How to Introduce Students to Primary Sources

Introducing your students to primary sources for the first time? Watch [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Critically Analyzing Information Sources
Photography, Montana receives honorary degree from American University, 7 June 1

This source from Cornell University's Olin and Uris Libraries includes [...] »

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 [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
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 [...] »

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 [...] »

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 [...] »

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

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