The site is easy to use, relevant to the curriculum, and being able to look at original documents is plain surreal. It's almost like taking a peek into a time period, an oval office, a soup line.
You can use the ready-to-use tools, but you can also "Join the Community" and create your own account and portfolios which is recommended.
Here's a sample lesson from the archives:
Click "Find Activities" and historical eras pop up.
Choose one - Post War United States pulls up choices like the 1968 Democratic Convention and A Famous Person and Event.
A synopsis and teacher instructions are given.
Here is the beginning of the instructions for Rosa Parks' arrest warrant:
This activity can be used during a unit on the Civil Rights movement, in teaching about protests and civil disobedience, or when focusing on Rosa Parks individually. For grades grades 5-8. Approximate time needed is 15-30 minutes.
The instructions are very detailed!
The names are blacked out. The size of the actual document can be increased for better examination. These are great documents to get students thinking! It is amazing - and sometimes sad and shocking - to have access to these documents and photographs.
USIA / National Archives and Records Administration Records of the U.S. Information Agency Record Group 306
Thank you, Rosa Parks, for all you have done for America!