Incorporate Primary Documents into your Lessons with DocsTeach.org
For those interested in incorporating more primary sources into their teaching, the National Archives has created a website to make it easier to design lesson plans around primary sources. DocsTeach.org offers activities that include learning objectives and teaching instructions as well as the ability to create new activities. This creation section is particularly useful since it provides guidance for those interested in creating activities and the ability to customize groups of activities for specific groups of students or classes. Once new lessons are published, they are available to all users of the site. To help teachers find the best of these lessons, the site also periodically features select lessons that they have determined to be among the best of the best, which makes it easier to find lessons to use or to inspire your own lessons. Both documents and activities are sorted per the National History Standards and the site offers links to more information about these standards. You can also browse all available materials by historical thinking skill, tool used or historical time period to make it easy to find materials for specific curriculums.
In addition to offering this site, DocsTeach.org also offers an iPad app that provides access to all of the activities and can be used to allow students to complete activities directly from their iPads. The app offers teachers the ability to create a classroom code that students enter in the app to be directed only to those activities that the teacher has assigned to them, which makes this a particularly good resource for schools that use iPads in the classroom. It is a great option for teachers interested in making use of National Archives materials in their lesson plans.