Historical Documents Teacher Resources
Find Historical Documents lesson plans and worksheets
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The Declaration of Independence: From Rough Draft to Proclamation
9th - 12th
Learners discover how the Declaration of Independence transformed from a draft to a treasured historical document. In this Declaration of Independence lesson, students discuss the context in which Jefferson wrote the document and analyze...
Women of the Civil Rights Movement: How to Interpret a Document
8th - 11th
Working in a team, students discuss, analyze, and interpret a document associated with the Civil Rights Movement. Though the necessary documents are linked below, a teacher could use this activity with any historical document, as the...
Applying the SOAPS Method of Analyzing Historical Documents
4th - 7th CCSS: Adaptable
Young historians use the SOAPS (Speaker, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject) method of questioning to determine the historical value of primary source documents. The third in a series of five lessons that model for learners how...
The Pursuit of Democracy and Diversity: The Trial of Pro-Social Injustice in Historical Documents and Accounts
8th CCSS: Adaptable
Class members investigate The Indian Removal Act of 1830, U.S. Theft of Mexican Territory Timeline, and President Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Horace Greeley, 1862, and then conduct a mock trial of each of these documents to determine...
Adapting Documents for the Classroom: Equity and Access
2nd - 12th
Students examine primary sources to gain historical perspectives. In this historical analysis lesson, students analyze documents that their instructors have adapted to make more user-friendly. Example adapted primary documents are included.
The Montgomery Bus Boycott: A Model for Social Transformation
9th - 12th
High schoolers discuss Rosa Parks and the Montgomery busy boycott by examining the boycott handbill and Rosa Park's arrest report. They compare both documents and complete the Document Analysis Worksheet. They research the consequences...
Early English Exploration and Settlement of the Colony of Virginia
5th - 6th
With resource links, a detailed procedure, embedded primary source documents, and a Readers Theater script, you're ready to teach! Re-enact historical events in order to boost historical perspective, discern main ideas, and draw...
"I Declare, I Believe This Document May Flower!"
6th - 10th CCSS: Designed
The Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights. The language of these seminal historical documents presents a challenge for even the best readers. Here's a group activity that helps all...