Welcome to Best Practices

Prologue to Studying the Emancipation Proclamation
In Teaching in Action
Cherokee Law of Blood
In Examples of Historical Thinking

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 [...] »

Civil War Letters

Historian Chandra Manning analyzes Civil War letters from black and white [...] »

Sourcing a Primary Document
Photo, Geologist examining cuttings from wildcat well, Amarillo, Texas (LOC)

See sourcing in action, as a historian reads a document about the Scopes [...] »

1853 Daguerreotype

What does an 1853 daguerreotype have to say? Plenty, says Frank Goodyear, [...] »

Japanese American Internment: Executive Order 9066

How did the World War II internment of Japanese Americans happen? Historian [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
What Does It Mean to Be an American?

An 8th-grade teacher asks: Was early 20th-century America a "melting pot" or [...] »

Exploring Historical Texts in a Discussion-Based Class

Trying to promote more productive and engaging discussions?

[...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
SCIM-C: Historical Source Analysis
Photo, ". . . Texas-New Mexico Pipeline Company. . . ," 1972, Hiser, Flickr

Virginia Tech’s short video shows how to analyze primary sources and put [...] »

Local History and Student Historians

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

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 [...] »

Learning Menus: Textbooks a la Carte

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

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 [...] »

The Grammar of History Textbooks Part II: Questioning the Text
Marginalia, CHNM

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

The Grammar of History Textbooks, Part I: Language Analysis
Marginalia, CHNM

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