2 Replies Latest reply on Mar 16, 2016 10:38 AM by Stephanie Greenhut

    How can I use DocsTeach in the classroom?


      How can I use the National Archives DocsTeach website for my 6th graders? Specifically, how does it mesh with Common Core Standards?


        • Re: How can I use DocsTeach in the classroom?

          There are a couple of ways you can do this easily:


          One way is to search by historical thinking skill.  For instance "historical analysis and interpretation" closely aligns with Common Core RH 6-8-9.  And you can search for relevant activities in DocsTeach by thinking skill.  Just go to "Activities" click "Search" and check the box for the historical thinking skill you want to find.  In the current version of DocsTeach you will have to enter a topic, but when our new one emerges from the testing stages you will be able to search by the skill alone.


          Another thought.  You could also use the "flipped classroom" method by using a DocsTeach activity to teach a concept, such as sequencing, analysis, interpretation, or decision making and then reinforce or add more relating to the specific Common Core standard in the classroom the next day. 

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          • Re: How can I use DocsTeach in the classroom?

            Hi Holly,


            In a nutshell, DocsTeach.org is a site full of primary sources and primary source-based online learning activities. You can use it in a variety of ways when it comes to teaching your sixth-graders:

            1. Browse or search for primary sources that fit your curriculum at http://docsteach.org/documents. We have included thousands of letters, photographs, maps, posters, videos, and other records that we have selected from the broader holdings of the National Archives and Presidential Libraries — ones we think make useful teaching tools.
            2. Discover teaching activities at http://docsteach.org/activities — all activities on the site are fully interactive, primary-source based and online. Once you've found an activity for your students, assign them to complete it by going to its unique URL — either individually for homework, in a small-group setting in class, or even as an entire class using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Students can also complete activities using the DocsTeach App for iPad.
            3. Modify any existing activity you find to fit your unique classroom needs. You can swap out primary source documents and modify activity instructions. If you register for a free DocsTeach account and log in, you'll also have access to thousands more activities crafted by fellow educators from which to borrow.
            4. Create your own activity from scratch. Each activity-creation tool helps students develop historical thinking skills and gets them thinking like historians. Choose one of the available tools to begin. Then find and insert primary sources and customize the activity to tailor it to your unique students.


            Since DocsTeach is entirely primary source-based, it meshes perfectly with Common Core Standards. Through every DocsTeach activity, students get to practice:

            • citing specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary sources (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.1),
            • determining the central ideas or information of a primary source and providing an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.2), and
            • integrating visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.6-8.7).


            Depending on the specific activity your craft or find, DocsTeach can touch upon other Common Core standards as well.

            3 people found this helpful