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
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum: Personalizing History

Make large-scale historic events like the Holocaust personal with artifacts [...] »

Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: Paradox of Liberty

Educators tour the NMAAHC exhibit "Slavery at Jefferson's Monticello: [...] »

Monticello: Jefferson's Experiment

TAH teachers get an introduction to Monticello as Thomas Jefferson's ' [...] »

Women's Rights: Sarah Bagley Letters

What do these letters from a women's rights activist reveal about social [...] »

A Close Look at the World War II Memorial

Historian Christopher Hamner introduces educators to the World War II [...] »

Teaching in Action

Teachers demonstrate promising teaching practices
Opening up the Textbook: Voices from My Lai

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

Exploring Historical Texts in a Discussion-Based Class

Trying to promote more productive and engaging discussions?

[...] »

Using Primary Sources

Strategies for analyzing primary sources
Primary Sources: What Are They?

The National History Day’s guidelines for defining and locating [...] »

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 [...] »

Teaching with Textbooks

Techniques for promoting historical inquiry
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 [...] »

Questioning Textbook Authority
Marginalia, CHNM

Show your students how to challenge the authority gap between the textbook [...] »