Press/Journalists
Press Release
December 2, 1998
National Archives Publishers New Guide for Teachers

Washington, DC. . . The National Archives and Records Administration, in conjunction with the National Council for the Social Studies, announces the publication of the long-awaited second volume of Teaching With Documents, featuring facsimiles of archival documents and related teaching activities designed for a range of disciplines and grade levels. The new publication (item #200057) sells for $15. To order, call 1-800-234-8861 or FAX 1-202-501-7170.

The documents span the history and policies of the U.S. government from the formation of the union to the political turbulence of the 1970s. The volume compiles more than 40 teaching articles, most of which originally appeared in Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies.

Teaching With Documents, Volume 2 contains reproductions of posters, maps, photographs, cartoons, diary entries, charts, drawings, and official correspondence and proceedings of the Federal Government. Highlights from the volume include FDR's hand-corrected copy of the "Date in Infamy" speech, Federal census records of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the map of Custer's Battle at Little Big Horn, the deed of presentation of the Statue of Liberty, Robert E. Lee's resignation from the U.S. Army, and fire prevention posters introducing Smokey Bear.

The new volume contains 43 teaching articles and 6 helpful charts that consolidate information from both volumes of Teaching With Documents and will assist educators in using the articles to meet their specific needs. Each article provides educators with a National Archives document, a brief historical background for the document, and teaching activities appropriate for a variety of ages and abilities. The charts are designed to identify the various types of documents in both volumes, possible uses of the documents across the curriculum, and connections between the teaching activities and national learning standards.

Documents created by those who participated in or witnessed the events of the past may reveal what even the best written book or article cannot. As students study historical sources, they practice important analytical skills and become aware of the subjective nature of those sources and how they personalize history.

The archival records and learning activities in Teaching With Documents, Volume 2 will lead students at all levels to practice basic critical thinking skills such as identifying fact and bias, weighing evidence, detecting contradictions and other limitations within a given source, determining the reliability of sources, developing defensible inferences, and drawing generalizations and conclusions. Analyzing archival documents provides students with opportunities to study history the way historians do: posing, testing, and revising hypotheses and gaining new insights that inspire further study.

This second volume compiles "Teaching With Documents" articles published in Social Education from 1989 to 1998 and similar articles published in the Organization of American Historians' Magazine of History, The Roger Williams Report, Heritage Education Quarterly and Social Studies and the Young Learner.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.

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