Friday, November 5, 2010

This Week's Online Find: DocsTeach

According to DocsTeach, "The National Archives has been encouraging teachers to use primary sources in the classroom since the late 1970s." One assumes with limited success -- until now. Because with the launch of DocsTeach, an online tool created in consultation with the National Archives, the process is so easy, it should be impossible for any history or social studies teacher to resist.

DocsTeach provides more than 3,000 primary-source documents from the National Archives, as well as seven easy-to-use tools to help teachers utilize those documents effectively in the classroom.

Users can find complete custom activities created by other educators for a variety of subjects and grade levels -- or they can use the DocsTeach tools to create their own interactive learning activities utilizing primary-source documents. All activities are categorized according to the National History Standards -- and Bloom's Taxonomy. Documents can be bookmarked and activities can be saved on the site.

The site also includes sections on how to teach with primary-source documents -- if you've never attemped it before -- including step-by-step instructions for document analysis.

This site is a no-brainer -- any teacher can use its tools to create valuable learning activities for demonstration, whole-class lessons, or individual or small group activities. You have to register to create activities -- although not to use existing activies -- but registration is free and the site is great fun!

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