Historical Thinking

The NEHTA endorses the current trends in history education to promote "historical thinking skills." We highly recommend utilizing the various resources from the Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) as an excellent starting point, as they provide the latest research and tools to teach historical thinking. Please note that you do need a membership with SHEG in order to access their lesson plans and materials, but registration is free.

Introductory Materials for Teaching Historical Thinking

We highly recommend introducing students to historical thinking by utilizing SHEG's introductory lesson plans. These will introduce the core historical thinking skills of: Contextualization, Sourcing, Corroboration, and Close Reading. Each of the lesson plans will then reference back to these, and the included set of printable classroom posters, makes it easy for you to refer back to them as well while teaching.

U.S. History Lessons using Historical Thinking

SHEG currently has 91 individual lesson plans across 12 units in the U.S. History section of their resources, all of which also include primary and secondary sources with guiding questions. An added benefit is that SHEG provides both modified and original versions of the sources, which allow you to easily modify for the varying reading levels of your own students.

Ancient, Medieval, and Global History Lessons using Historical Thinking

SHEG currently has 41 individual lesson plans across 10 units in the World History section of their resources, all of which also include primary and secondary sources with guiding questions. An added benefit is that SHEG provides both modified and original versions of the sources, which allow you to easily modify for the varying reading levels of your own students.