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
Visiting the George Mason Memorial

How can you get teachers thinking about monuments and memorials as secondary [...] »

World War II Memorial

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

Jefferson's Confidential Letter to Congress

Jefferson, surprised by the Louisiana Purchase? Maybe not. Historian Leah [...] »

Women's Suffrage: Jane Addams's Article

Who was Jane Addams, and how is her article "Why Women Should Vote" still [...] »

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Teaching with 19th-Century Art

Watch Suzannah Niepold of the Smithsonian American Art Museum guide teachers [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Of the Student, For the Student, By the Student

Sixth graders in Prince William County film their interpretations of the [...] »

Causal Reasoning

The fictional Alphonse the Camel provides insight for one classroom.

[...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
The Thomas Jefferson Building: Secret Messages
Detail, The Thomas Jefferson Building homepage

What messages are hidden in art and architecture? Explore the Library of [...] »

Key Concepts in Historical Thinking
Photo, Thinking of You, 12 July 2008, Fabiana Zonca, Flickr

Improve your historical analysis skills by learning about different types of [...] »

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 [...] »

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, [...] »

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 [...] »

Building a Conversation between Textbooks, Students, and Teachers

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

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 [...] »