Teaching Literacy through History

Teaching Literacy through History is Gilder Lehrman’s new professional development initiative for teachers. The program integrates history and literacy, using reading and analysis of primary documents to deepen students’ understanding of history while improving their close-reading, critical-thinking, and analytical-writing skills. Teachers learn interdisciplinary, document-based strategies and methods that can be used in both history and English language arts classrooms. Aligned with the benchmarks outlined by the Common Core State Standards, TLTH—through teachers—supplies students with the skills they need to succeed not just in high school and college but also in careers and the global marketplace.

Gilder Lehrman is uniquely placed to provide teachers with the tools they need to incorporate primary documents as informational texts in the classroom. The Institute is a leader in improving American history education, and for the past twenty years has developed strategies for using primary sources in elementary, middle, and high schools across the country.

Customized Professional Development

All Teaching Literacy through History programs are tailored to fit a school’s or district’s needs. We work with teachers at any level within the K–12 school system, in interdisciplinary teams of social studies and English language arts teachers or same-subject teacher groups, on site or online.


K–12 educators benefit from the TLTH program and learn how to:

  • align current lesson plans and curriculum to the Common Core Literacy Standards.
  • develop content-rich lessons that improve students’ critical-thinking, close-reading, and analytical-writing skills through the use of historical texts and primary sources.
  • employ a range of document-based teaching methods and classroom exercises the Gilder Lehrman Institute has refined for 20 years.
  • increase the use and efficacy of primary sources in both history and ELA classes.

Questions? Contact us at pd@gilderlehrman.org for further information about Gilder Lehrman’s professional development programs.