How I Use It
My middle school language arts students used the National Archives website to research primary documents. They received a teacher made scavenger hunt about the Mayflower Compact.This was intended as an introduction to primary sources, to familiarize them with searching a document for information. On the website they used the search feature to look up the Mayflower Compact; this provided them a link to a digital copy of this document. Subsequently, they skimmed and scanned the documents to answer questions on the scavenger hunt. My students stayed engaged because of the digital aspect of the assignment and the challenge of a scavenger hunt.
In general, this is a very useful website for a variety of subjects. It enables students to view primary sources such as historical maps, original documents, and artifacts. It has a cool Docs Teach feature that allows you to use their resources to create your own lesson plans or use activities and lessons already developed. On the surface it appears that it would be functional for primarily social studies teachers, but it contains such a wealth of information and links, I have found it useful as a language arts teacher and can see it being implemented in a variety of subjects.