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 Smith Map

Watch Smithsonian curator Barbara Clark Smith discuss John Smith’s Map of [...] »

Letters from the Philippines

Letters from U.S. soldiers during the Philippine-American War reveal [...] »

Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

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

1853 Daguerreotype

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

Intertextual Reading of Two Primary Documents
Photo, "Collecting books for readers. . . ," 1964, LSE Library, FLickr Commons

A student demonstrates thinking aloud reading two documents.

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Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Teaching Historical Interpretation through Planning Documentary Films

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

Teaching the Bill of Rights

Daunted by teaching the Bill of Rights and its complex vocabulary to [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Online Primary Source Collections

Check out these sites for excellent primary source material.

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Interactivity
Photography, James Lequlla: Newsboy, May 1910, Lewis Wickes Hine, LOC

Teach students how to utilize primary sources with this game from [...] »

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 I: Language Analysis
Marginalia, CHNM

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

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 [...] »

Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

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 [...] »