National Archives and Records Administration: Southeast Region [GA]
The Southeast branch of the National Archives offers the opportunity to research documents—texts, photos, maps, and architectural drawings—made between 1716 and the 1980s, which pertain to the history of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, Alabama, and Kentucky.
This online exhibit includes a selection of the types of documents you can find in the archives—early records, Atlanta Federal Penitentiary documents, draft registration cards, Tennessee Valley Authority and Tuskegee photographs, and court and genealogical documents, among others. Give the finding aids a chance to see what the archives may hold in areas of interest to you.
If you are teaching on slavery, particularly in South Carolina, you may find the list of slave manifests useful. For 20th-century history, the archives' website includes a collection of scanned draft registration cards with names that you know. How much more attentive will your students be if the draft card they are analyzing belonged to Houdini? Babe Ruth?
In addition to research opportunities, the archives offers public programs, such as lectures and workshops. Check early and often to find new programs, and register for events that require you to do so.
Download a PowerPoint presentation of letters written to Wehrner von Braun, space program pioneer, director of NASA's Marshal Space Flight Center, and chief architect of the Saturn V rocket. Teachers are invited to submit their ideas for using these documents in the classroom.
Perhaps your students are on the younger side? Consider looking at essay contest entries for inspiration to create your own oral history and essay assignment.