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
Smithsonian American Art Museum: "Westward the Course of Empire"

Watch Suzannah Niepold guide TAH teachers through analyzing the differences [...] »

Narratives of Slavery

One institution, two very different perspectives. An expert contrasts [...] »

A Close Look at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

Historian Christopher Hamner engages educators in close questioning of the [...] »

My Lai Massacre Political Cartoon

Professor Meredith Lair examines a 1971 political cartoon and what it says [...] »

1804 Inventory

What can an inventory tell you about daily life in Delaware in 1804? Curator [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Organize Your Thinking to Critically Analyze Text
Video screencap, Organize Your Thinking to Critically Analyze Text, 27 Feb 2012

Discover the multiple strategies 5th-grade teacher Jennifer Brouhard uses in [...] »

Opening up the Textbook: Voices from My Lai

High school students use primary sources to question their textbook's [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Critically Analyzing Information Sources
Photography, Montana receives honorary degree from American University, 7 June 1

This source from Cornell University's Olin and Uris Libraries includes [...] »

Making Sense of Advertisements
Ad, 1954, Linit Perfect Laundry Starch, Ad*Access

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

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
The Grammar of History Textbooks, Part I: Language Analysis
Marginalia, CHNM

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

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 [...] »

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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

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 II: Questioning the Text
Marginalia, CHNM

Turn your textbook into a conversation by scanning its language for biases [...] »