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15 Apps and Websites for Primary Source Documents

October 10, 2014

It’s so important to include primary sources in your English Language Arts and content area instruction.  Whether you’re conducting a close reading of a text or drawing conclusions from a photograph there are lots of ways that students can interact with artifacts.  Here are a few great online resources and apps for primary source documents. Each one will give you plenty of resources to choose from. You might decide to give students the freedom to explore these individual sites or curate just right resources to share with your students.

  1. Getty Images (photo library with plenty of images to explore)
  2. Changing America (documents)
  3. DocsTeach (website from National Archives with the resources curated for teachers)
  4. Flickr (photo library including creative Commons tagged content)
  5. Shadow Puppet EDU (searchable photo library that lets students create an narrated slideshow with the primary source documents they find)
  6. LIFE Photo Archive (photo library that includes this famous magazines wealth of images to search through)
  7. Today’s Document (this mobile app from National Archives gives users a new document I’m day and plenty of previous selections to look at too)
  8. Quotable Americans (famous quotes)
  9. Underground Railroad (documents)
  10. Met Museum (artifacts)
  11. Abraham Lincoln (documents)
  12. Congressional Moments (videos)
  13. America History Interactive Timeline (app with artifacts)
  14. DocsTeach (app from National Archives)
  15. American History Clips (videos)

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Dr. Monica Burns is a former classroom teacher, Author, Speaker, and Curriculum & EdTech Consultant. Visit her site for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.

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