Primarily Teaching 2014

A Summer Workshop for Educators on Using Historical Documents in the Classroom

Teachers in a workshop in Chicago Presented by National Archives staff at:

  • The National Archives at Chicago, June 23–27
  • The National Archives in Washington, DC, July 7–11
    • Enrollment is Full. Apply to be added to Waiting List
  • The National Archives at Atlanta, Morrow, GA, July 21–25
  • The National Archives at Boston, Waltham, MA, July 21–25


All workshops will have a national theme—Leadership and Legacy in History—matching that of National History Day in 2015. Each National Archives location will explore a specific case study, with original documents in our archival holdings, that fits within this broader theme:

  • Chicago: Journey for Civil Rights in the Midwest
  • Washington, DC: Investigations of Ellis Island, 1900–1920
  • Atlanta: FDR and the Tennessee Valley Authority: The Controversy of Progress
  • Boston: Boston Schools Desegregation: Lessons of Leadership, Courage, Process, and Equality

Digitization of documents related to our case studies will be our priority. You will find between 3 and 5 items (documents, photos, maps, etc.) to scan and describe. We will add these to our online tool for teaching with documents—DocsTeach.org—while participants are onsite. During the workshop, you'll produce a DocsTeach learning activity using the digitized materials.

After guided research using the case study, you will have the opportunity to continue researching the case study, or to go on to independently research a more specific topic of your choice related to Leadership and Legacy.

Participation in the National History Day competition is not required.


  • The fee for each of the workshops is $100, which includes all materials.
  • Graduate credit from a major university is available for an additional fee for most sessions.
  • You will receive a stipend upon successful completion of the course.


Completed applications are due no later than six weeks before the workshop. Participation in each session is limited to 10 members, 15 in Washington, D.C. Classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. See the Workshop Information for an application and further details.

Comments from Past Participants

  • "A wealth of information and documents that will be incorporated in my teaching units."
  • "I thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of discovery. Many thanks to all those who supported us in many ways."
  • "I have a renewed sense of enthusiasm for beginning yet another school year."
  • "I am a critical audience who is always second-guessing the instructor in courses I take, but if each teacher of social studies took this . . . , the teaching and learning of history in this country would be utterly transformed."
  • "This is the BEST, most VALUABLE class I have ever taken. My vocabulary is insufficient to describe it properly. Thank you!"
  • "I would highly recommend this workshop to anyone with an interest in research and/or the social studies. There is no better way to earn 3 graduate hours! I hope to come back and do much more work here."
  • "I gained the confidence and knowledge and information to do my own research in the future."
  • "An energizing academic experience."

Primarily Teaching is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives, through the support of Texas Instruments.

Top of Page

Teachers >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272