Teaching Literacy through History and Common Core


The Gilder Lehrman Institute has an extensive collection of more than 60,000 non-fiction, primary source texts and is a leader in developing classroom strategies for document-based learning. By combining these unique assets, we have developed an interdisciplinary professional development program that helps educators build their American history content knowledge and learn immediate strategies for using historical and primary source texts to improve students’ core literacy skills.

These professional development trainings are effective as introductions to Common Core pedagogy, refresher workshops on effective classroom strategies, or to help educators adapt to the new standards. Workshops are tailored to school or district requests and can be delivered on-site at the school or online. Gilder Lehrman can also provide master-class videos upon request.

Educators have the opportunity to:

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the Common Core Literacy Standards and draw connections to it with their current history and literacy curriculum
  • Practice a range of teaching methods and classroom exercises, developed and refined by the Gilder Lehrman Institute for over 20 years, utilizing primary source texts and historical documents
  • Determine how to select non-fiction and fiction texts that will enrich lessons and deepen students’ understanding of American history
  • Take away classroom-tested strategies for improving student core literacy skills, such as critical thinking, close reading, and analytical skills, that can be implemented immediately


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 Common Core pedagogy training.


Gilder Lehrman suggests history/social studies and English language arts teachers attend joint sessions as our TLTH program strongly emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach. The pedagogy sessions can be tailored to any grade level within a school system.

Recommended participants:

  • Same-grade-level history/social studies and ELA teachers for interdisciplinary benefits
  • K–12 history/social studies teachers
  • K–12 literacy/ELA teachers


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.


Price is dependent on the depth of the program requested, number of trainings, and number of participants. Please contact us at tlth@gilderlehrman.org for more information.