Introducing the Newly Redesigned

Our popular teaching website, has a new look and updated features!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

At its core, DocsTeach is very much the same site. You can still find thousands of primary sources — letters, photographs, speeches, posters, maps, videos, and more — spanning the course of American history.

Activity Search on DocsTeach
Find activities by era, skill, grade or type.

And with your (free) account, you can create your own fun and engaging online activities.

You can borrow from the ever-expanding collection of document-based activities created by us at the National Archives — or from fellow teachers around the world.

And you can still copy and customize any activity you find for your students.

How Have Americans Responded to Immigration? activity
Now students can complete activities and teachers can create activities right from the browser on mobile devices!

But now you can do all of this on mobile devices, including tablets, in addition to your computer.

Aside from making the site mobile friendly, we made other improvements as well. After all, we’ve delivered thousands of DocsTeach presentations for thousands of educators at conferences, in professional development workshops, and online — and there was a short list of questions with which we’d become familiar. Of course we used these to guide our major updates.

DocsTeach is now easier to use, more customizable, and provides a more complete experience for students.

New features include the ability to:

  • organize and share favorite documents,
  • view multimedia,
  • access document transcriptions and citations,
  • easily save and print primary sources,
  • include primary sources from outside the National Archives, and
  • search activities by grade level.
The WWI Homefront
Now you can share document collections with students or fellow teachers.

We also made some changes to provide clearer information about the resources on DocsTeach and to make it easier to find:

  • DocsTeach activities are labeled with the CC0 Public Domain Dedication and classified as open educational resources — anyone around the world can copy, modify, or distribute them freely.
  • The copyright status of each primary source on the site is clearly stated.
  • Metadata in the code has made the site more “discoverable” (following the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI) and specifications). This means the site is more likely to come up in searches using education-specific terms.

Since we first launched in 2010, DocsTeach pages have been viewed over 12.5 million times, in over 2.2 million visits from around the world. More than 35,000 registered users have created over 20,000 activities. And teachers, students, and schools have downloaded the DocsTeach app for iPad over 580,000 times.

Attention Registered Users

Even though you already have an account, you’ll need to re-register using your current username the first time you visit the redesigned

Once you register and log in, you can migrate any activities you’ve already created.

  1. Register for an account. You must use the same username that you used previously in order to sync your account.
  2. You’ll receive an email with a link to click on to verify your account.
  3. Log in to DocsTeach.
  4. Use the Menu to find My Account and choose Migrate Activities.
  5. You will see the activities you’ve previously created and can migrate them so that you and your students can use them.
  6. Access your migrated activities in My Activities – you may even wish to edit them to take advantage of the new features.

Watch for a new iPad app

The newly redesigned DocsTeach website works on iPads and other tablets. But if you prefer, you can use the DocsTeach app to share primary source-based learning activities with your students to access on their iPads.

Currently, the app is disabled while we update it — a brand new app will be available in the coming weeks!

DocsTeach is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the support of Texas Instruments, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, and Capital One. Thank you, National Archives Foundation and supporters, for helping us complete this long-awaited redesign! 

7 thoughts on “Introducing the Newly Redesigned

    1. Hi Ledra,

      Yes, you can surely use DocsTeach to create learning activities for elementary students! In fact, it would be a great way to introduce them to primary sources.

      You can find tips for using our various activity-creation tools with younger students on each tool’s page, accessible through

      You can also explore some examples of activities created for elementary students on DocsTeach.

      We just added the filter for grade levels with this redesign, so we hope to see even more activities for younger students created in the future!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *