Welcome to Best Practices

Japanese American Internment: Executive Order 9066
In Examples of Historical Thinking
Making Sense of Documentary Photography
In Using Primary Sources

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
Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman

Can you trust a biography? Historian Tiya Miles analyzes an 1869 biography [...] »

Slave Life at Mount Vernon

How do the buildings and artifacts at Mount Vernon reflect the lives of the [...] »

Creative Memo on Lay's Products

Potato chip marketing—how a luxury item became an everyday U.S. food.

[...] »
Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener"

Is reading a piece of historic literature once enough? Not if you want to [...] »

FDR's Second Inaugural Address

What is the key line in Franklin D. Roosevelt's second inaugural address? [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Foundations of American History: John Brown Song

How did people in the North feel about John Brown after his raid on Harpers [...] »

Prologue to Studying the Emancipation Proclamation

An 8th-grade class analyzes letters about the Emancipation Proclamation.

[...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
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 [...] »

Making Sense of Numbers
Photo, George Gaskell and Colm Muircheartaigh, c1980s, LSE Library

Quantitative data, although seemingly daunting and impersonal, can help you [...] »

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 [...] »

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 [...] »

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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