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
My Lai Massacre Political Cartoon

Professor Meredith Lair examines a 1971 political cartoon and what it says [...] »

Women's Suffrage Cartoon

How does a political cartoon use popular beliefs about women to make its [...] »

Smithsonian American Art Museum: "Inventing a Better Mousetrap"

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

Civil War Letters

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

Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

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

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Causal Reasoning

The fictional Alphonse the Camel provides insight for one classroom.

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Recreating the Cuban Missile Crisis

Ninth-grade teacher Jamie Kimbrough asked her students to stand in Kennedy's [...] »

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 [...] »

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
Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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

Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

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

Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

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 [...] »

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, [...] »