Elementary Introduction

Video Transcript

Have you ever wondered who really attended the first Thanksgiving? How to use music to teach about the Civil War? Or thought about adding photographs to a lesson on segregation? Teachinghistory.org is a rich resource for teaching about America's past that can help you with this and more. Search tools lead you to websites with primary sources and classroom activities. You can explore best practices, and make the most of your time discovering resources and strategies for teaching in new, exciting ways.

Resources Everywhere, All Free

Let's take a closer look at three sections—Teaching Materials, History Content, and Best Practices. It's time consuming to find reliable websites, but Teachinghistory.org can help. Simply click on History Content, and then on Website Reviews. Explore by keyword, topic, or time period to find primary sources, teaching strategies, and multimedia ready for your elementary classroom. Let's say you want to find materials on New England and Colonial America. Select a site, and learn what it offers. For example, American Centuries has almost 100 classroom activities. This one shows students how colonists dressed. It's perfect for showing differences between then and now. This would be great on its own or as preparation for a fieldtrip.

Places to Go, Things to Learn

Teachinghistory.org can help with that too. Search Museums and Historic Sites for virtual fieldtrips and resources right outside your door. Teachinghistory.org goes beyond providing easy access to quality online content. It also demonstrates innovative ways to teach about the past, and to help students develop reading, writing, and historical thinking skills.

Make the Most of Your Classroom Hours

Teaching Guides give you a range of strategies from crafting fieldtrips to reading picture book biographies. Each includes downloadable materials, and lists common pitfalls. For example, Using KWL Guides teaches you how to use this three question technique with historic images—perfect for young students. Or visit Lesson Plan Reviews, and find lessons that use primary sources to engage children in stories of our past. The review assesses what a lesson does well, and where it needs improvement. Or watch Teachers in Action for new ideas to try in your classroom. These 4th-grade students are analyzing the song "John Brown’s Body" to learn about the 1859 raid on Harper’s Ferry. Other examples model techniques such as roleplaying or comparing maps. There are many other features to explore. Benefit from Lessons Learned in Teaching American History grants, and visit the Teachinghistory.org blog, or follow us on Twitter for the latest news, content, and resources. Whether you're curious about content or methods, Teachinghistory.org can help you find what you're looking for.

Image Credits
  • Amherst Historical Society
  • The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History
  • Harvard University Library
  • Kalamazoo Valley Museum
  • Library of Congress
  • New Jersey History Project Partnership
  • Plimoth Plantation
  • Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, Massachusetts
  • Smithsonian National Museum of American History
  • State Library of New South Wales
  • University of Pennsylvania Libraries
  • U.S. Air Force