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
Civil War Letters

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

Reading for Context
Photo, Bayard Rustin, 1964, Library of Congress

If students lack historical context, they can miss the substance of a [...] »

Close Reading for Vocabulary, Context, and Tone
Photo, Day 12.07 knowledge and understanding, July 12, 2009, frerieke, Flickr

Analyzing a source requires context for a more complete understanding.

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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: Clifford Berryman Cartoon

Donald A. Ritchie, Historian of the U.S. Senate, asks how a political [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
How to Introduce Students to Primary Sources

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

Teaching Historical Interpretation through Planning Documentary Films

Watch this 9th-grade teacher lead his class in planning, writing, and [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
People as Primary Sources: Conducting Interviews
Photo, A private interview between a young immigrant . . . , Edwin Levick, NYPL

The Bracero Archive’s tutorial shows how to conduct successful interviews. [...] »

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
Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

Show your students how to challenge the authority gap between the textbook [...] »

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

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

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 [...] »

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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

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, [...] »