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 [...] »

1853 Daguerreotype

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

John Brown's Body

Chandra Manning discusses the song “John Brown's Body,” and how music can be [...] »

World War II Memorial

What meanings does the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC, have? [...] »

Monticello: Jefferson's Experiment

TAH teachers get an introduction to Monticello as Thomas Jefferson's ' [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Reading and Thinking Aloud to Understand

Two practices help students to make sense of primary source documents on the [...] »

FDR's Fireside Chats

High school teacher Joe Jelen combines roleplaying and critical analysis—by [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
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 [...] »

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. [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

The Grammar of History Textbooks, Part I: Language Analysis
Marginalia, CHNM

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

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 [...] »

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 [...] »