editing disabled

Joyce Mason and Stevie Kline




Link to Docs Teach Wiki


For any type of document — a written document, image, map, chart, graph, audio or video — move through the following steps:

  1. Before getting into the content of the document, look at it in a very general sense and ask basic questions. Consider the document’s type: “What kind of document are we looking at?” For example, for textual documents, is it a newspaper, letter, report? For artifacts, what material is this made of? For video, is it a propaganda film, cartoon, training video?

  2. Find unique characteristics of the document (which will vary depending on document type). Note any markings or special qualities. These characteristics will help students understand the document in context. For example: Are there any symbols, letterhead, handwritten versus typed text, stamps, seals, or notations? Is there a background, color, or tone? Are there facial expressions in photographs, or other telling features? Is there narration or special effects? Is there a key?

  3. Attempt to identify the creator and the content of the document. Break down the document by asking “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How?”

  4. Rephrase the document into plain language. Students should determine the content of the document and speculate for whom and why it was created. Help students understand the document in historical context.

Sharing DocsTeach Activities with Students

Use DocsTeach activities for:

  • classroom demonstration

  • full-class activities

  • small-group activities

  • individual in-class or homework assignments.

Manage activities in your account. Share both activities you find and those you create with your students on DocsTeach.

If you find an activity you want to share with your students or have created and published your own, simply provide your students with the unique web address for that individual activity. Students can complete the activity and email the results if desired.

You can also keep track of activities you create and your favorite activities in your account. Star activities that you like and want to share with your students, then find them in your account. If you have adapted an activity or created and published your own, find it immediately in your account and ready to share. If you’d like for your students to see or complete a series of activities, create a classroom within your account and share the unique web address for that classroom with students. Even create and name multiple classrooms to share different activities with different classes.