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Document Analysis with StudentsFind unique characteristics of the document (which will vary depending on document type). Note any markings or special qualities. These characteristics will help students understand the document in context. For example: Are there any symbols, letterhead, handwritten versus typed text, stamps, seals, or notations? Is there a background, color, or tone? Are there facial expressions in photographs, or other telling features? Is there narration or special effects? Is there a key?Rephrase the document into plain language. Students should determine the content of the document and speculate for whom and why it was created. Help students understand the document in historical context. Why teach with documents? Sharing DocsTeach Activities with Students Correlation to National History Standards Activities created on DocsTeach are categorized according to the National History Standards as outlined by the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California, Los Angeles.For more information on teaching historical thinking skills, see the Historical Thinking Standards.For background information on historical eras, visit the Standards in History. Remembering and Understanding through Evaluating and CreatingRemembering. Understanding It is also possible to create lessons centered on Remembering and Understanding for those students who are new to primary sources. Applying A lesson that calls upon the skills up through Applying. Analyzing A lesson that requires students to practice Remembering, Understanding, Applying and Analyzing but does not focus on Evaluating or Creating. Evaluating A lesson that requires students to practice all skills through EvaluatingRemembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating and Creating will be indicated with an entirely filled-in triangle. An example is a lesson including extensive document analysis, evaluation of historical events, and the creation of an end product. Bloom, B., Englehart, M. Furst, E., Hill, W., & Krathwohl, D. Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification ofeducational goals. Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York, Toronto: Longmans, Green, 1956.Anderson, L.W., & Krathwohl (Eds.). New York: Longman, 2001. Teaching with Documents and the National Council for the Social Studies The National Archives has been encouraging teachers to use primary sources in the classroom since the late 1970s through the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) publication Social Education. Additional Links From the National Archives Education Resources and ProgramsEducation Updates BlogNational Archives Education on FacebookNational History Day ResourcesMore Primary Sources in the National Archives Online CatalogHow to Cite National Archives RecordsThe National Archives Museum in Washington, DCThe Boeing Learning Center at the National Archives MuseumNational Archives Locations Nationwide External Links National Council for the Social StudiesNational Council for History EducationNational History Education ClearinghouseNational History Day
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