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
The Iran Hostage Crisis: Diary of Robert Ode

Diaries give a personal view of historical events. Historian Peter Hahn [...] »

FDR's Fireside Chats

Historian Allida Black analyzes FDR's April 28, 1935 Fireside Chat. What [...] »

Paintings About Segregation

Textbooks describe segregation in a few pages, but these artists share [...] »

Japanese American Internment: Ansel Adams Photos

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

[...] »
The Barbary Pirates: Letter from Tripoli

Two letters from 1800 Tripoli lead into a story of piracy, privateering, [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
FDR's Fireside Chats

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

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
Local History and Student Historians

So you don't live near Gettysburg or the Alamo—can you still teach with [...] »

Scholars in Action: Analyzing 19th-Century Letters
Negative, "Letters. Posting of letters III," c.1920-1950, Theodor Horydczak, LoC

Watch a scholar interpret letters from labor activist and reformer Sarah [...] »

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 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 [...] »

Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

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

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, [...] »