Lesson Plans

Why We Can’t . . .

Students investigate how a powerful slogan was used by civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and consider how it might be applicable to a contemporary issue.

Snap a Photo: Agent of Change

Students consider point of view and purpose while they engage in careful observation of Lewis Hine’s photographs that exposed child working conditions, generate and test hypotheses based on evidence, and reflect on their learning by applying it to related questions about a photographer’s point of view or purpose. Teachers may choose to have students extend…

Congress and Child Labor

Students analyze primary source images and posters to explore why Congress decided long ago that it was important to pass labor laws to protect children, then apply what they have learned by creating their own historical poster. After, students could investigate child labor today or another contemporary issue related to children and make connections by…

Capture the Flag

Students investigate primary sources to explore the various ways people use the United States flag to show characteristics such as pride, loyalty, and unity for the nation, then create a collage showing examples of celebration and remembrance. After, students can make connections by creating a collage, drawing, poem, video, etc., that shows how the flag…

Civil Rights and Civic Action

Students deepen their understanding and personal integration of the concept of commitment to civic service by examining the historic contribution of young people in shaping positive changes in America using primary sources from the Library of Congress. Students explore the civic service accomplishments of young people to help bring about social change and identify the…

Gun Violence and Next-Generation Coalitions

Students deepen understanding of civic action through a focus on the empowerment that citizens gain through building coalitions through an exploration of the accomplishments of young people to help bring about changes through civic action. Referencing Library of Congress resources and sources of the Columbine school shooting, students identify the potential of young people in…

Kids, Collaboration, and Coalitions

Students develop their personal understanding of their membership in a civic community by examining  the historic contribution of young people in shaping positive changes in America using primary sources from the Library of Congress and other sources. Students explore coalition-building accomplishments of young people recognizing that any individual, regardless of age, race, status, or gender…

Speaking Out: Four Freedoms Then and Now

Students analyze a part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech and use primary sources from the Library of Congress to gain historical context. Next, students explore sources from the Library to draw conclusions about the impact of the speech on American culture at the time. Students then write their own “Four Freedoms” speech, outlining…

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…

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