Professional Development for K-12 Teachers with Proven Results

Teaching Literacy through History™

Professional Development with Proven Results for K-12 Teachers

Introducing Teaching with Documents, a self-paced online course for teachers in grades 6-12.

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Teaching Literacy through History (TLTH) is an interdisciplinary professional development program that uses primary sources to improve K-12 education.

Gilder Lehrman’s Master Teacher Fellows work with teachers and educators to

  • improve content knowledge
  • align curriculum with their state’s standards (including Common Core)
  • introduce new classroom skills

Email or call (646) 366-9666 ext. 37 to learn more.

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Why Work with Gilder Lehrman?

The Gilder Lehrman Institute has 20 years of experience as a leader in developing classroom strategies for document-based learning, supported by an extensive collection of more than 60,000 historical documents, images, and objects.

What You Can Choose

  • Pedagogy training
  • Curriculum planning
  • Lesson plans
  • Demonstration videos of classroom techniques
  • A lecture by an eminent historian on a topic of your choice
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Professional Development Tailored for Your District’s Needs

Pedagogy Training

  • Work with Master Teacher Fellows to improve content knowledge and align curriculum with state standards (learn more about Gilder Lehrman's Master Teacher Fellows).
  • Develop a deeper understanding of the Common Core Literacy Standards.
  • Determine how to select non-fiction and fiction texts.
  • Take away classroom-tested strategies for improving student core literacy skills.

Customized Curriculum

  • Curriculum consultation on how to integrate US history with English language arts.
  • Interdisciplinary curriculum development for K-12 English language arts and history teachers designed around a school or district’s scope and sequence.

Supplemental Resources

  • Lesson plans (view a sample).
  • Demonstration videos of classroom techniques.
  • Lectures by an eminent historian on a topic of your choice.

A tested approach

In 2012-2013, Gilder Lehrman partnered with the Archdiocese of New York City to implement the first pilot of the TLTH program. Seventh- and eighth-grade history and English language arts teachers were paired across twenty-five Archdiocese schools.

When students were assessed the following spring in the state’s first Common Core-aligned tests, the results were dramatic: students from TLTH schools were ahead of their peers by 6.3% overall in English language arts proficiency.

In a survey, teachers who participated in the TLTH program reported:

  • 97% indicated improved student analytical/argumentative writing skills
  • 100% indicated improved critical reading skills

A program for all K-12 grade levels

Gilder Lehrman can work with your district to tailor a TLTH program for elementary, middle, and high school grade levels (or a combination).

Suggested participant groups include:

  • History, social studies, civics, and ELA high school and middle school teachers
  • Cross-curricular social studies and ELA elementary school teachers

Site Location

Professional development workshops can be delivered either on-site at your school or district or online. TLTH workshops can also encompass a mix of on-site and online training with the option of additional master teacher videos.

Training Duration

Trainings are dependent on a school/district’s needs, and can range from a half-day session to multiple full-day sessions throughout the school year. We recommend teachers enroll for a minimum of three sessions, spaced four to eight weeks apart, to receive the full benefits of pedagogy training.


Costs are dependent on the depth of the program requested, number of trainings, and number of participants.

Interested in learning more? Contact us at or (646) 366-9666 ext. 37.

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Introducing a new self-paced online course

Teaching with Documents shows teachers in grades 6-12 how to use primary sources to improve student content knowledge and core literacy skills. The course features:

  • Tested, Common Core-aligned pedagogy led by Tim Bailey, Director of Education at the Gilder Lehrman Institute.
  • Five demonstration videos, each covering a different literacy strategy
  • Five classroom-ready teaching units, one for each demonstration video
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Since returning back from their professional development with the Gilder Lehrman Institute in New York, the teachers in Omaha Public Schools have been on fire about the pedagogy they were trained to use during their Immigration Workshop. Their excitement about the graphic organizers and vocabulary discussions they were introduced to is evident in the presentations they have done with their colleagues and the lessons they have conducted with their classrooms.

Barry Thomas, Social Studies Supervisor, Omaha Public Schools

What People
Are Saying

I was skeptical but it works! Even by the end of the day, later classes had heard that I’m teaching a “wack” way of figuring those hard words. And they were excited and wanted to share their dawning understanding. Thank you! On behalf of my students, my school district and myself — thank you!

Jewellee Kuenstler, 8th Grade US History Teacher, Stamford (TX) Middle School

Where Is TLTH Working?

More Professional Development

Teacher Seminars

Each summer, the Gilder Lehrman Institute offers forty academically rigorous Teacher Seminars for K-12 educators. These highly competitive one-week seminars are open exclusively to participants in Gilder Lehrman’s free Affiliate School Program.

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Online Courses

Gilder Lehrman’s online courses blend a traditional liberal arts environment with features that can only be found online, combining first-rate scholars and small class sizes with virtual field trips, interactive discussions, and the extensive use of digital history tools.

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Lesson Plans

Teaching Literacy through History (TLTH) units and lessons target the skills and strategies students must learn before they can gain academic independence. Each unit develops key literacy skills, such as analyzing non-fiction and fiction texts to increase vocabulary skills, discerning argument construction, and writing critical analysis.

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