Print Resources

US History to 1865

“Cartography, Politics- and Mischief,” (by Mark Stegmaier with Richard McCulley)
The article, published in the National Archives’ Prologue Magazine, examines Ephraim Gilman’s 1848 Map of the United States in depth. The map shows the existing states, territories, and proposed territories that existed at this time. The map was ordered by President James K. Polk to advance his ideas on developing the new territories and address the debate over slavery. A close examination of the map reveals labeling errors, misspellings, and misplacements of geographic features.

“John Brown: America’s First Terrorist?” (by Paul Finkelman)
This article not only provides background on John Brown, including his life, leadership, and legacy, but also explores how his actions are considered in terms of the modern notions of “terrorism.” Finkelman begins by describing contemporary terrorist attacks, such as September 11th, and seeks to make connections between John Brown’s actions in the period leading up to the Civil War and those of modern terrorists who eagerly compare themselves to John Brown.

“Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: Hollywood and the Civil War since Glory,” (by Gary W. Gallagher)
From the Masters at the Movies series, this article is from the May 2008 issue of Perspectives on History, of the American Historical Association. This essay discusses the varied themes and historical bent among Civil War films in the past few decades since the release of Glory in 1989.

US History from 1865

“From Citizen to Enemy: The Tragedy of Japanese Internment,” (by Julie Des Jardins)
From History Now, a quarterly journal published by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, professor of history Julie Des Jardins explores Japanese internment during World War II. Des Jardins recounts the events that led up to Executive Order 9066 (authorizing relocation), the effects this order had on Japanese families, and the contemporary attempts to memorialize the Japanese-American sacrifices and contributions during World War II.

Historical Thinking Skills

“History + Mystery = Inquiring Young Historians,” (by Jana Kirchner, Allison Helm, Kristin Pierce, and Michele Galloway)
Published by the National Council for the Social studies in Social Studies and the Young Learner, this article addresses historical inquiry in an upper elementary classroom. The authors highlight strategies from the book Mystery: Learning Through Clues to investigate how young learners can be actively engaged in learning US History. The article also includes specific instructional tips, classroom management, and the challenge of using primary sources in the classroom.

“Connecting with the Past: Uncovering Clues in Primary Source Documents,” (by Lee Ann Potter)
Lee Ann Potter is the head of education and volunteer program at the National Archives and Records Administration. In this article, she pulls from the primary source holdings at the NARA to illustrate how these sources can be a powerful instructional tool to enhance students’ critical thinking skills and allow students to connect with the past.

“Historical Thinking through Classroom Simulation: 1919 Paris Peace Conference”
This article presents a lesson on the 1919 Paris Peace Conference. The authors outline the historical context, prerequisite knowledge, lesson procedures and assessment for a classroom simulation, which they present as an opportunity to encourage historical thinking and empathy for secondary students.

Was Bloom’s Taxonomy Pointed in the Wrong Direction?
Wineburg discusses a case in which high school and graduate students were asked to draw conclusions about a news article in 1892. Contrasting their conclusions, Wineburg argues that knowledge should be the ultimate aim of critical thinking rather than the foundation.

Integrating Technology

“Podcasting and the Profession,” (by Krista Sigler)
From the Technology column of the May 2008 issue of Perspectives on History, Krista Sigler describes the current state of podcasting in the history discipline. She lays out some of the exciting, and extremely versatile, potential avenues of podcast technology in the field and also provides a concise “how to” of podcasting.

“Teaching History with YouTube (and other primary-source video sites on the internet),” (by Jonathan Rees)
From the Technology column of the May 2008 issue of Perspectives on History, Rees details the vast visual primary source resources available via the Internet from sources such as YouTube and the Library of Congress. He also includes “A Brief YouTube Primer” for the uninitiated including some of the main drawbacks of YouTube.

“Teaching and Learning in a Digital Age (AHA 2011),” (by Rwany Sibaja)
This article is based on’s presentation at the American Historical Association conference in 2011. The presenter and writer, Rwany Sibaja, introduces a number of digital tools that can be used in the 21st century classroom. He begins by offering advice to teachers on how to approach technology by suggesting that they should “start with what feels comfortable.” The article is then divided into four sub-categories: digital tools for presentations, digital tools for communication, digital tools for production, and digital tools for miscellaneous tasks. There are endless possibilities with what teachers can do on the web, but this article is a good starting point to expose teachers to the tools that are classroom and student accessible.

Across the Curriculum

“An Approach to Integrating Writing Skills into the Social Studies Classroom,” (by Veronica M. Zagora)
This article is from the National Council for the Social Studies’ journal Social Education. Zagora points out that social studies is often pushed aside to target students who need support in reading in Math. This article explores how reading and writing skills can be integrated into the social studies in order to increase instructional time on this subject. Specifically, the writer designed an action research project that incorporated writing into a 10th grade social studies curriculum.