Teaching and Learning History - 011216

Key Resources

The Resources I Wish I Had on the First Day as a History Teacher

By Alisa Kesler-Lund
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT

As a new history teacher I was desperate for ideas, resources, “best” lessons, anything to help me become a better teacher. I used primary sources as often as I could and remember painstakingly combing through a young Internet to find pop culture resources for a lesson about racism in early twentieth century America. I settled on the song “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday. Performing this search today I could easily access the primary source collections from the Library of Congress, find my topic, narrow my search by source type (audio, image, map, newspaper, etc.), and download, stream, zoom, project, or save the source. The primary source collections from the Library of Congress are like a historical treasure trove.

Billie Holiday

I also love The Teaching Channel, which hosts thousands of in-practice teaching videos demonstrating a wide range of techniques, including the teachers discussing why they made particular instructional moves. I use these videos frequently with my pre-service teacher candidates to help them visualize particular methods in practice, and can only imagine how helpful it would have been as a new teacher. Watching a video demonstrating an Antiques Roadshow Show and Tell with Kindergarteners, you can see the potential for fostering an understanding of historical significance, change over time, and personal connections among these learners. What I would have given, as a new teacher, to have access to these resources! I know these would have been bookmarked on my computer and used frequently.
Library of Congress Primary Source Sets:
The Teaching Channel:
Antiques Roadshow Show and Tell:

Alisa Kesler-Lund
is a former high school history teacher and current assistant professor of social science and history teaching at Brigham Young University. She spends her work days teaching, researching, and writing all in the name of enhancing history education.

About NCHE

The National Council for History Education promotes historical literacy by creating opportunities for teachers and students to benefit from more history, better taught.