Welcome, Let's Do History!
Thank you for using Smithsonian's History Explorer! This page is designed to help you navigate the site and to provide you with additional teaching supports through our primary source guide, blog posts, and Thinkfinity Community group.
Learn more about teacher professional development at the Museum and our 10 city "Smithsonian's Let's Do History Tour"
Tips for Using History Explorer
History Explorer is a full-featured search of all the educational resources from the National Museum of American History. For tutorials, tips for searching, and advice on subscribing to RSS feeds, visit How to Use this Site.
Guides to Teaching with Primary Sources
Engaging Students with Primary Sources, a guide for teachers, includes brief introductions to using documents, photographs, oral histories, and objects for classroom learning. The guide includes student handouts, sample lessons, recommendations for finding primary sources by type, and more support materials for teachers.
If You Walked in My Shoes This teaching poster introduces students to the who, what, where, when, why, and how of object investigation and the personal stories in history through six pairs of shoes in the Museum's collection.
Looking at Artifacts, Thinking About History, an essay developed for The Object of History, a partnership between the National Museum of American History and the George Mason Center for History and New Media, was written by Museum curators and introduces teachers to the variety of stories objects can tell. The site includes links to other resources for interpreting primary sources.
Professional Development Opportunities
For ongoing professional development opportunities, view recorded webinars from Thinkfinity.org and its Thinkfinity partner sites, including this webinar, Historical Literacy and the Common Core with Prof. Chauncey Monte-Sano of the University of Michigan, hosted by the Museum.
Or, find online conferences and webinars with Smithsonian curators and educators on the following topics:
Or, join us at our next conference session:
International Society for Technology in Education, June 23-26, San Antonio, TX
Real Stories, Real Stuff: Using Online Resources from the Smithsonian, June 24, 12:45-1:45 pm
National Youth Summit: Connecting Kids to History and Each Other, June 24, 8:00-10:00 am (poster session)
Suggestions for Planning a Visit
Are you bringing your class to the National Museum of American History? Consider
using the materials you find on History Explorer as pre- or post-visit activities, and
take a look at our Plan Your Visit page for tips and details on events at the Museum.
Staying in Touch
We love hearing from teachers, so be sure to keep in touch! You can find us...
In the Thinkfinity Community
- Educators from the National Museum of American History are active on the free Thinkfinity Community. Here are some tips to help you find American history content on the Community:
On Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube
- Use the links above or at the bottom of the page to find the History Explorer team and the National Museum of American History on our social media channels.