Lesson Plans

The U.S. Constitution: Continuity and Change in the Governing of the United States

This unit includes four lessons using primary sources to examine continuity and change in the governing of the United States. Lessons one and two are focused on a study of the Constitution and Bill of Rights; lesson three investigates important issues that confronted the first Congress and has students examine contemporary congressional debates over similar…

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.

Introduction to the Constitution

In preparation to learn about the rights and responsibilities detailed in the U.S. Constitution and the purpose for its structure of government, students develop their ability to compare and contrast documents and make their own historical interpretations as they complete a close reading of the Preamble. After, students put the Preamble into their own words.

The Magna Carta: Due Process from King John to the 14th Amendment and Beyond

Students trace both the origins and results of the Magna Carta in the context of the U.S. Constitution and the 14th Amendment, then consider a contemporary case related to law enforcement robots.

Who Gets the Vote?

Students review the amendment clause of the U.S. Constitution, then analyze primary sources to deepen understanding of how constitutional voting (suffrage) amendments expanded the electorate and the rights of Americans. After, they’ll research a current voting rights issue and write a letter to their U.S. congressman about their informed view of the issue.

Securing Our Freedoms Beyond the Bill of Rights

Students analyze primary sources from the Library of Congress including Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” and “The Bill of Rights” to the U.S. Constitution. Students then identify amendments related to two of the four freedoms from the primary sources and then work in small groups to reach consensus and propose a new amendment to secure rights…

Find Your Freedom Beyond the Bill of Rights

Students analyze primary sources from the Library of Congress to identify freedoms, then review background information about the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. Next, students match the amendments related to some of the freedoms they identified through analyzing sources and then work in small groups to reach consensus and propose a new amendment…

Journalists and a Free Press

Students learn about the crucial role journalists and reporters play in keeping the citizens in a democratic society informed about their community, the nation, and the world. First, students are introduced to the notion of “freedom of the press” from the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and discuss the role of journalists in reporting…