Be Washington

Be Washington is an interactive experience in which YOU take on the role of George Washington, either as commander in chief or president. Come face to face with a leadership challenge, listen to advice from his most trusted sources, and decide how to solve the same problems Washington himself faced. Learn how Washington actually handled the situation, and see how other players voted. Play as an individual or hosts a game for a group. Lesson plans are available for each scenario. The game may be played online and is also available as an app. Visiting Mount Vernon? Make plans to play Be Washington in the Interactive Theater.

For more resources for President’s Day, go here.

Jefferson and Slavery

Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the famous line “all men are created equal,” was a lifelong slave-owner. Over the course of his life, he would own 600 human beings, and at any given time roughly 100 slaves would be living and working on and around Jefferson’s plantation and farms. This handout from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello describes his views on slavery.

For more resources from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, go here.

Patriotism Crosses the Color Line: African Americans in World War II

Professor Clarence Taylor reminds us of the role African American soldiers played in the conflict — and the role their military service played in shaping the racial politics that followed in peacetime. This essay helps us appreciate the complexity of mobilization for modern warfare and drive home the impact of events on the world stage upon domestic affairs. Registration is required to view this resource from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

For more resources for Black History Month, go here.

  • For a roundup of information about summer teacher institutes from Civics Renewal Network organizations, go here.
    • American Bar Association: Federal Trials and Great Debates Summer Institute
    • George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Program connects Washington and his 18th-century world to students’ lives today.
    • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: 6-day and 3-day seminars, plus a new summit at Gettysburg College.
    • Historical Society of Pennsylvania: The Immigrant Experience Through Primary Sources.
    • National Endowment for the Humanities: Tuition-free programs to study a variety of humanities topics.
    • Street Law: An immersive six days in D.C. learning about the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello: An opportunity to research and study at Monticello and the Jefferson Library.
  • Bill of Rights Institute: We the Students Essay Contest prompt is “What does civil discourse mean to you?” Learn more.
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: A new contest, 50 States, 1 Nation, for fourth and fifth graders. Learn more.
  • Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History: Nominate a teacher for the National History Teacher of the Year award. Learn more.
  • James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation: Apply for $24,000 fellowship to become an outstanding teacher of the U.S. Constitution. Learn more.
  • National Constitution Center: Sign up for its online student dialogues, Classroom Exchanges. Learn more.