Lesson Plans

I Am an American Day

Students analyze historical newspaper opinion pieces, focusing on argument, audience and author purpose. After comparing and contrasting the texts, students write a short opinion piece for a modern-day audience that speaks to being an American.

The Constitutional Amendment

Students analyze a primary source, focusing on author purpose and audience, to deepen their understanding of enfranchisement and the debate leading up to the passage of the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. After, students investigate the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact and use what they’ve learned to create a poster that supports or opposes…

Preamble to the Constitution Image Sequencing

Students develop their civics vocabulary and deepen their understanding of the preamble to the U.S. Constitution with this primary source image sequencing activity. After, students work together to create a class preamble that describes the purpose and function of their classroom community.

The Declaration, Her Declaration, Your Declaration

Students analyze the text of the Declaration of Independence and the  poem “Declaration” by U.S. poet laureate Tracy K. Smith. After, students create their own Declaration erasure poems that speak to their thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

Making a Declaration – Intermediate

Students investigate the importance of the Declaration of Independence as a founding document of the United States, then consider the historical and contemporary relevance of its most famous phrase and how it relates to a personal vision of the American dream.

Making a Declaration – Advanced

Students investigate the historical impact of the Declaration of Independence, then consider the significance of the Declaration of Independence to the United States today and the contemporary relevance of its most famous phrase to the country, to the community, and to self.

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution.

Pair the picture book, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution., with primary sources to have students consider multiple perspectives as they build knowledge of this historic event in LGBTQ+ rights movement. After students can read the summary of the Equality Act, which passed in the House but has not moved out of committee in…

When Washington Crossed the Delaware

Pair the picture book, When Washington Crossed the Delaware, with primary sources  to have students practice close reading of both texts and maps while investigating the events leading up to and following this key accomplishment in the Revolutionary War. After, students can research a current event and create a map based on their learning along…

All the Way to the Top

Pair the picture book, All the Way to the Top, with primary sources to have students investigate the ideas behind the movement that made the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) possible and the motivations and character traits of a girl who was a part of that movement. After, students can investigate contemporary…

Pulling Down the Statue

Students analyze, then compare and contrast primary source images to investigate the historical removal of a monument. Next students read articles to to investigate contemporary events related to statue removals, then write an op-ed article that links their study of the past to the present situation.