Parents' Guide to

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

By Patricia Monticello Kievlan, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Stellar history resource offers great primary source access.

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

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This interactive historical website provides a large amount of context into the events that shaped America. The best bets for parents and students are in the History by Era, Programs and Exhibitions, and Primary Sources sections. Programs and Exhibitions includes an AP U.S. History study guide; it's organized into 10 time periods that each feature a time line, primary source documents, videos, and essays. The Primary Sources section is also great: A reference guide and search features let users sort through images and videos to dive deeply into history. Its bookmarking and sharing features are great, too. This site's developers are helpfully self-aware about just how much information they've packed onto their website, and these saving features (plus the intuitive, persistent navigation) make it easy to get your bearings.

The best thing about this website is how well it brings primary source media to life. That includes old-school documents plus videos, including everything from color illustrations of Theodore Roosevelt and Taft from Puck and the still-shocking "daisy" ad for Lyndon B. Johnson's 1968 presidential campaign. There's excellent content plus expert context, making this a reliable, ultra-rich resource to boost understanding and engagement. The largest issue is that if you're not a history buff, you may only find yourself using this site once or twice before moving on; there's just so much content. Overall, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has a lot to explore, so give yourself time to dive deep and revel in its riches.

Website Details

  • Subjects: Language & Reading : reading comprehension, text analysis, using supporting evidence, writing clearly, Social Studies : citizenship, cultural understanding, history, timelines
  • Skills: Thinking & Reasoning : analyzing evidence, asking questions, memorization, thinking critically, Self-Direction : academic development, self-assessment, self-reflection, work to achieve goals
  • Genre: Educational
  • Topics: History
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Last updated: May 26, 2021

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