Teaching Aids

Teaching With Documents (Article Compilations)

The following four volumes feature 113 articles, most of which have appeared in Social Education, the journal of the National Council for the Social Studies. Each article supports a document from the National Archives, providing historical context and related teaching activities. The documents reflect U.S. history and policies from the formation of the union to Watergate and each booklet includes a wealth of visual materials, including posters, maps, photographs, charts, drawings, and official government correspondence. Classroom teachers will want to use the interactive CD-ROM, which includes digital images of the original documents for engaging class presentations.

The Colonial Period to 1879 [1-85109-489-X]

1880-1929 [1-85109-494-6]

1930-1949 [1-85109-499-7]

1950-1975 [1-85109-500-4]

Published by the National Archives and ABC-CLIO. To order, contact: ABC-CLIO at 800-368-6868 or fax: 805-968-8899. Email:

Teaching With Documents (Curriculum Units)

The following curriculum units are designed to help students of US history, government, and economics to understand the process by which history is written and to develop analytical skills. Each unit contains about 50 reproductions of documents, charts, photographs, letters, drawings, and posters and a detailed teacher's guide. The materials deal with key issues of the period, with governmental and political responses to these issues, and with public attitudes.

The Constitution: Evolution of a Government [1-57607-778-0]

The Bill of Rights: Evolution of Personal Liberties [1-57607-779]

The United States Expands West: 1785-1842 [1-57607-780-2]

Westward Expansion: 1842-1912 [1-57607-781-0]

The Civil War: Soldiers and Civilians [1-57607-782-9]

The Progressive Years: 1898-1917 [1-567-783-7]

World War I: The Home Front [1-57607-784-5]

The 1920's [1-5607-785-3]

The Great Depression and the New Deal [1-57607-786-1]

World War II: The Home Front [1-57607-787-X]

The United States at War: 1944 [1-57607-788-8]

The Truman Years: 1945-1953 [1-57607-789-6]

Peace and Prosperity: 1953-1961 [1-57607-790-X]

Published by the National Archives and ABC-CLIO. To order, contact: ABC-CLIO at 800-368-6868 or fax: 805-968-8899. Email:

Also see "Teaching with Documents: Lesson Plans" for free lesson plans.

The Bill of Rights: Evolution of Personal Liberties (Curriculum Unit)

(OUT OF PRINT) Produced by NARA, the following curriculum unit is designed to help students of U.S. history and government to develop critical thinking skills and to understand the process by which history is written.The materials address certain key issues of the period, government and political responses to these issues, and public attitudes.

The Bill of Rights is designed for upper elementary through college-level classrooms. The boxed unit contains 46 facsimiles of documents, historical background for the documents, and 10 lesson plans that trace the history of the Bill of Rights and the evolution of liberties protected by the great charter. Students trace the ratification process and debate whether the Bill of Rights should have been part of the Constitution or amendments to it. They evaluate the constitutionality of gun control, the Miranda decision, and World War II internment of Japanese Americans. They compare and contrast Supreme Court cases in 1887 and 1987 and forecast those that might arise in 2087. Among the documents are official correspondence, petitions, legislative proceedings, newspaper articles, and visual materials.

9 1/2" x 12", 77-page Teacher's Guide, 46 facsimiles
National Archives and Records Administration, Reissued 1998

Our Mothers Before Us: Women and Democracy, 1789-1920 (Curriculum Unit)

(OUT OF PRINT) Produced by the Center for Legislative Archives, Our Mothers Before Us traces the history of women's organized petition campaigns from the First Congress in 1789 to the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920. This educational resource for high schools examines the long history of women's involvement in the civic life of the nation. Topics include abolition, antebellum- and Progressive-era reform movements, and the struggle for woman suffrage. At the heart of Our Mothers Before Us are the writings women sent to Congress reproduced as high-quality, full-color facsimiles. Three-ring binder with 6 booklets, 24 color facsimiles, and a foldout timeline. Includes 210 pages of text, instructional materials, images, glossary, and document transcriptions.

11 ½" x 12 ½"
Foundation for the National Archives, 2000

A Discovery Book About Federal Courts

(OUT OF PRINT) What is a Federal court? How were Federal courts established? What kind of Federal courts are there? What is the purpose of a trial?

These and many other questions about our court system are answered in this educational activity book for fifth- and sixth-grade students. Published to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Judiciary Act of 1789, Federal Courts contains a variety of exercises and activities based on records of actual court cases in the National Archives.

8 1/2" x 11", 36 pages
Creative Company, 1989


(OUT OF PRINT) Produced by NARA and published by Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., this learning package is aimed at the college-level student. It contains documents reproduced from the holdings of the National Archives, a historical background sketch, suggested reading for students, and questions and activities for the instructor.

8 1/2" x 11", 48 pages
National Archives and Records Administration, 1992
ISBN 0-8403-7401-1