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
Reading Place with the National Building Museum

What does architecture say about the past and the present? TAH teachers [...] »

Japanese American Internment: Ansel Adams Photos

If the U.S. interned you and your family, how would you respond?

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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 [...] »

Thomas Nast Cartoon

Today, we accept paper—and electronic—money as a fact of life. Historian [...] »

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
Students in the Community

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

Historical Context and Roleplaying
Photo, Students on Stage at Holton Arms Schoo c. 1920-1950, Library of Congress

A 5th-grade teacher teaches historical context through roleplaying [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Making Sense of Advertisements
Ad, 1954, Linit Perfect Laundry Starch, Ad*Access

Advertisements have surrounded us for years. How can you interpret them? [...] »

Reading Like a Historian
Photo, We <3 Students Who <3 Reading, Mar. 9, 2010, Enokson, Flickr

Use the Stanford History Education Group's curriculum to teach 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 [...] »

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, [...] »

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 [...] »