Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Engage and Enlighten your students with the National Archives

The National Archives is a great site for research, interest, engagement, learning, and discovery. Let's get right to it: The National Archives is exactly that, a collection of archives from all over the board in terms of topics, events, etc. The National Archives has some cool features that would engage your students, bringing them back to the past. The National Archives has tons of primary sources to search through and look at. In addition to a plethora of resources and documents, the National archives has other features: Collection, Backtrack, Pathways, Search, and Create. Let's break them down:
*Collection: this feature offers your students the chance to put together a "collection" of things they find pertaining to a certain topic. 
*Backtrack: This feature allows your students to go backwards from where they came from. As you click on new material, you spiral around the archives, and this feature allows you to find your way back to what you have already seen. 
*Pathways: This is a neat feature that challenges your students to find the pathway from one item to the next, staying within a certain topic. For example: If you do a path way on the Civil War, you might start with a picture of Lincoln in the middle, then hundreds of other options scattered around him. The task is to find another item that relates to the item in the middle. I worked on the Civil War pathway for a while. It's quite challenging!
*Search: This allows you to do a basic search for material.
*Create: This option allows you to create a poster or a movie with the national archives. A cool feature to the site. 

I encourage you to check out the National Archives and browse around for a while. Perhaps you will find something or an idea you could use in your classroom. 

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