Drafting the Nation

As the Framers drafted different versions of our founding documents, their ideas of what it meant to be a republic also changed. In this unit, four lessons based on the drafts of the Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution, held at the collection at HSP, allow students to explore the language and ideas behind these pivotal documents

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

230 Years of the United States Constitution

The Constitution has stood as both the plan for the American system of government and through its 27 amendments, a summary of the political values of generations of Americans. This resource has been assembled to help teachers and anyone interested in the Constitution better understand and appreciate it, using the document itself and other original works contemporaneous with it.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources, Timelines, Video
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Interactive Constitution: Eighth Amendment (High School)

This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 8th Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Interactives, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 12

Interactive Constitution: Eighth Amendment (Middle Level)

This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 8th Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Essays, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 8

Interactive Constitution: Fourth Amendment (High School)

This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 4th Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Interactives, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 12

Interactive Constitution: Fourth Amendment (Middle Level)

This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 4th Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Interactives, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 8

Interactive Constitution: Second Amendment (High School)

This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 2nd Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Essays, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 12

Interactive Constitution: Second Amendment (Middle Level)

This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 2nd Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 8

Landmark Supreme Court Cases: Scott v. Sandford

Using video clips from the Landmark Supreme Court Case series, a partnership between C-SPAN and the National Constitution Center, students will research and role-play to better understand the legal, social, and economic factors relating to– and implications of– the majority and dissenting opinions in this infamous case.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Essays, Interactives, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Landmark Supreme Court Cases: Slaughterhouse Cases

In this lesson, students examine a constitutional challenge to the regulation of the New Orleans meat butchering industry under the Fourteenth Amendment. Students will use short clips from C-Span’s Landmark Cases program on the Slaughterhouse Cases and additional resources respond to an essay prompt. A rubric to assess student’s writing and understanding of content is provided.

  • Resource Type: Interactives, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12