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
Cherokee Law of Blood

A Cherokee Nation Supreme Court document reveals the fluidity of racial [...] »

John Brown's Body

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

Scenes in the Life of Harriet Tubman

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

The Election of 1932: Clifford Berryman Cartoon

Donald A. Ritchie, Historian of the U.S. Senate, asks how a political [...] »

Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address

Teaching the Reconstruction? Ford's Theatre's Sarah Jencks leads teachers [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Prologue to Studying the Emancipation Proclamation

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

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Massive Resistance through Political Cartoons

Watch 4th-graders analyze cartoons about Virginia and Brown v. Board of [...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Integrating Material Culture into the Classroom
Photo, me & Jackie's antique shopping field trip, tray, 2010, Flickr

Use this guide developed by PBS and the Antiques Roadshow to teach [...] »

Making Sense of Films
Poster, "Stone walls and chains do not make a prison --- for Houdini," LoC

Work with early twentieth-century film as historical evidence. What [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
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 [...] »

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 [...] »

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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