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 Site Review: Docs Teach

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Site URL: DocsTeach.org

Content:  Brought to you by The National Archives, DocsTeach allows students to work with and learn from primary sources—in this case, historical documents.

Design:  While not dynamic or particularly nice to look at, DocsTeach is clean and easy to follow. All of the links are accurate, and the site flows well. Where the DocsTeach does stand out design-wise is with its historical documents. All the documents offered here are absolutely beautiful.

Docs TeachReview:  Primary sources motivate students and pique their interest about history in a way that textbooks cannot. This is what DocsTeach brings to the classroom. The site allows students to view familiar document formats like letters or photographs, which capture their attention and prompt further investigation. Students engage in historical inquiry when they ask questions, discover evidence and participate in debates over interpretation.

Helping educators add depth to history lessons, the documents on this site let students empathize with figures from the past and understand history from varying perspectives. Young people can connect their historical understanding to other subject areas, a collective national heritage, and their modern lives.

Bottom Line:  The concept behind DocsTeach is sound, and the site gets a boost from The National Archives’ seemingly endless supply of primary sources.

 

Article by Jason Tomaszewski, EducationWorld Associate Editor
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