Teaching Literacy through History

Teaching Literacy through History™ (TLTH) is an interdisciplinary professional development program that uses primary sources to improve K–12 education. TLTH workshops are beneficial for elementary, middle, and high school teachers who teach American history, social studies, civics, and English language arts.

In the TLTH program, educators learn a series of integrated literacy skills that directly impact student understanding and performance. Student skills addressed in TLTH sessions include

  • Evidence-based writing
  • Vocabulary development
  • Analysis of documents and visual materials

TLTH sessions demonstrate how to make primary source documents a building block of pedagogy. Teachers will acquire a classroom-ready approach for designing lesson plans and meeting state standards with proven strategies, such as

  • Unlocking primary source documents through scaffolded shared reading
  • Using text-based questioning to promote a better understanding of complex primary sources
  • Building authentic interactions with primary sources to create student ownership of their learning

Program Options

Teaching Literacy through History programs can range from a single day of pedagogical instruction to multiple sessions that refine skills and train participants to become teacher-leaders within their school. Strategies and content are tailored to school or district requests. The Institute can also provide master-class videos upon request.


A day of pedagogical instruction can include one or more sessions of approximately 2½ to 3 hours each. Pedagogy sessions can be combined with a lecture by an eminent historian on a topic of your choice. Teachers will leave each session with classroom-ready lesson plans and resources to take back to their schools.


Each session will be presented by a Gilder Lehrman Master Teacher Fellow. Each is a current or former classroom teacher with expert knowledge of American history and thorough training in the Teaching Literacy through History approach.

Grade Level

Teaching Literacy through History sessions can be conducted at any K–12 grade level. View sample lesson plan here.


Costs vary based on location, number of participants, and scope of the program. Please call Josh Landon at (646) 366-9666 ext. 137 or email tlth@gilderlehrman.org for more information or to receive a quote.