This documentary tells the story of these individual freedoms that often are taken for granted today. But in 1787, when they were first discussed at the Constitutional Convention, the Founding Fathers rejected them. Why were these rights controversial then? The full story about these rights, including what they say and what they mean, is explained. Ten short videos examine each of the amendments in the Bill of Rights.
The Our Constitution book, written by Donald A. Ritchie and JusticeLearning.org, takes an in-depth look at the Constitution, annotated with detailed explanations of its terms and contents. Included are texts of primary source materials, sidebar material on each article and amendment, profiles of Supreme Court cases, and timelines. The complete book or individual chapters can be downloaded.
Exploring the United States Constitution eBook
Each chapter connects one or more of the billions of primary source documents in the holdings of the National Archives to the principles found in the United States Constitution. These documents exemplify the workings of the three branches of the federal government as laid out in our Constitution. This eBook is available as a Multi-Touch book for iPad and Mac on iTunes, or for PC, Android devices, Mac, iPhone, iPad, or eReader with Scribd.
Bring the Constitution to Life!
Locate primary sources from the holdings of the National Archives related to such topics as “checks and balances,” “representative government,” all 27 amendments, and other concepts found in the Constitution. This special home page devoted to the U.S. Constitution also features activities to share with students, such as “The Constitution at Work,” which uses primary sources to demonstrate the Constitution in action in our everyday lives.
Ratifying the Constitution
This lesson introduces students to the vigorous debates between the Federalist and the Anti-Federalists surrounding the ratification of the Constitution that took place in the state conventions.
In the state ratification conventions, delegates argued the wisdom of adopting the Constitution. Elected specifically to serve in these conventions, they came from a range of backgrounds, from the very elite and highly educated, to those of humbler birth and station. State delegates grappled with questions about the nature of democracy, the distribution of wealth and power in society, the rights of individuals and minority groups, and the role of dissent in a republic.
Shelby County v. Holder (2013)
Did Congress’s decision in 2006 to reauthorize Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act exceeded its authority to regulate voting? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered this question in 2013.
McCulloch v. Maryland
Students read about and discuss the landmark Supreme Court case of McCulloch v. Maryland. In a group activity, students study Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution and the 10th Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The groups decide which of several proposals Congress has the authority under Article I, Section 8, to establish or regulate and give their reasons.
Voices of History
Voices of History is a collection of eight Bill of Rights Institute curriculum resources including Being An American, Preserving the Bill of Rights, Founders and the Constitution, Supreme Court DBQs, Liberty and Security in Modern Times, Religious Liberty: An American Experiment, and Heroes and Villains. Teachers will have free access to each resources’ lessons plans and handouts.
Making Civics Real
A multimedia workshop for high school civics teachers. It includes 8, 1-hour video programs, a print guide to the workshop activities, and a website. The goal of this workshop is to give teachers new resources and ideas to reinvigorate civic education. The series presents authentic teachers in diverse school settings modeling a variety of teaching techniques and best practices in a variety of social studies courses from a 9th-grade government/civics/econ course, to a 12th-grade law course
Constitutional Index – Amendment 10 Powers Not Delegated Clause
The Constitutional Index breaks down the U.S. Constitution by Section, Amendment, and Clause and contains broader topics and themes. These are used to cross-reference Library resources in an effort to annotate constitutional history.