In an earlier post, I mentioned the sweet, new Digital Vaults site from the National Archive people. The site really blew me away with its cool interface, teaching materials and use of primary sources. I’m thinking, this is what digital archives should look like! Can’t get any better than this.HTM

Or can it?

Thumbing through the latest National Council for the Social Studies Social Education journal and ran across an article showcasing a site called Historical Thinking Matters. Not sure yet if it’s better than Digital Vaults but, oh my, it is cool in its own way!

HMT is another wonderful project by the Center for History and New Media, together with George Mason University and School of Education at Stanford University.

Sam Weinburg, author of Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts, help put the site together with the goal of helping teachers and kids . . . well . . . think historically. And it does exactly what it’s designed to do!

HMT is an awesome way to get kids to look at and analyze sources and make good decisions based on those documents. There is an interactive notebook that allows kids to take notes, annotations and hints provide scaffolding during reading. Videos by historians provide commentary and background info for the documents.

Teacher materials, strategies, lessons and worksheets are available as well as student samples. These samples can be used to provide “multiple points along a expert-novice continuum” and to assist in assessing student work. There are even webquests for each of the topics!

Right now four topics live on the site with more to come: Spanish-American War, Scopes Trial and the 1920s, the Social Security Act and New Deal and Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

If you are a history teacher, you have to got check this out. Very cool, very practical and great for learning!