How to use Primary Documents to Teach

World history is an interesting subject to teach. Besides having several tools to help students learn and memorize specific events and time lines, teachers can also use primary documents to help educate their students. By using primary documents to teach world history, students get a first hand glance at something that actually happened  in history and are able to connect the timelines and learn the subject faster and better.

Show and Tell. By using primary documents, teachers can actually show students a part of history first hand. Describing an event is good, but being able to show the class a part of history is even better when it comes to talking about the past. It is also a reason why so many people like history to begin with, because most of it is taught through a story telling type of method.

Focusing the attention. It is really easy to lose the attention of students when getting into the story of wars and why things happened, especially when there is a lot of jumping around in history (like there is in most cases). However having something to show when doing this, makes teaching better, because students are able to follow the instructor easier and have a more reliable source of information that something did happen than just what is written down on books. 

When using a primary documents, or documents that have more information about world history, when it comes to teaching, you should always have in mind your main audience. Teaching history to middle schoolers is going to be a lot slower than teaching this subject to high schoolers. So the method should be different even when you have something to share with the class. 

You can always have something visual that students can also see bigger to control the attention of the audience. By making a power point or writing on the board (if there is one available) you can control and ensure that students receive the proper information when it comes to learning. 

Having the right tools to teach is good, but you also have to know how to use them and how your students are going to receive the information in class. One thing that many teachers believe that they are doing right is that even when they have the right tools they believe that they’re students are learning, but this is not always the case.