Teacher Review for National Archives DocsTeach

Makes primary source documents relevant for students.

Joe T.
Classroom teacher
Cabell Midland High School
Ona, WV
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My Grades 10, 11
My Subjects Social Studies
My Rating
Learning Scores
Engagement
Pedagogy
Support
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Further application
Homework
Individual
Knowledge gain
Practice
Small group
Student-driven work
Great with Advanced learners
General
How I Use It
With the advent of Common Core and its emphasis on primary source documents and informational text, Docs Teach is a great app. I used the app as an extension tool. Students used the app in reviewing the New Deal and World War II. It explores documents from the Manhattan Project and New Deal, to the D-Day invasion and life at home in America. Instead of just presenting the students with documents to read, it asks them to think critically and analyze the documents. I would suggest using small groups to analyze the documents for low literacy, ELL and special needs students. The text can be difficult to read due to its age, condition and nature.
My Take
It's a good tool to bring primary source documents to life. Documents relevant to the topic are used in a way that requires students to think critically about their significance in a way that students don't overtly look at as a learning moment. The topics are limited and could use further exploration and development, but what there is already is well designed and researched.