Constitution of the United States with Index and the Declaration of Independence, Pocket Edition

This is the 25th pocket edition of the complete text of two core documents of American democracy, the Constitution of the United States (with amendments) and the Declaration of Independence. The resolution calling for the ratification of Constitutional Convention is also included. A topical index to the Constitution is provided. (House Document 112-29, 2012)

  • Resource Type: Books, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Voting and Elections in Early America

Google Cultural Institute exhibit by Constitutional Rights Foundation & Barat Education Foundation’s Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Program. Long before the pilgrims landed, voting and elections were taking place in America. For example, the Five Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy, a powerful alliance of Native American tribes who inhabited territory west of the Colonies, had established a system of representative government sometime around 1500 that lasted until the Revolutionary War. Women played a prominent role in choosing its political leaders.

  • Resource Type: Interactives, Media, Photography, Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

“I Have a Dream” Speech, Martin Luther King, Jr.

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his address on his vision for the future of America regarding race equality. The speech was to emphasize the importance of this movement. 100 years before, Lincoln gave his Emancipation speech and 200 years earlier the Declaration of Independence was signed. Now it is time to end oppression in America for good.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Our Constitution

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.

  • Resource Type: Books
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Decision Making in a Democracy

Voting is one of the most basic ways to participate in a democratic society. While there are many other ways to participate as well, voting is regarded by many as the most fundamental right and responsibility of the citizen. This lesson introduces primary students to the concept of voting and group decision-making.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 2, 3, 4, 5

Suffrage at 17 – Voter Education Curriculum (Chicago Edition)

Suffrage at 17 is designed to help Illinois high school students take advantage of their right to the franchise. Prepared by the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago and Mikva Challenge, this curriculum features lessons about voting, current electoral issues and challenges, and resources for further study.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Suffrage at 17 – Voter Education Curriculum (Illinois Edition)

Suffrage at 17 is designed to help Illinois high school students take advantage of their right to the franchise. Prepared by the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago and Mikva Challenge, this curriculum features lessons about voting, current electoral issues and challenges, and resources for further study.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Constitution Homepage on DocsTeach.org

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.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Audio, Editorial Cartoons, Games, Interactives, Lesson Plans, Media, Modules (Teaching Unit), Photography, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Voting: Should voting be compulsory in our democracy?

Free and fair elections are essential to a democracy. Through voting, people express their views about government. They choose leaders who will improve their country and community. But what happens when people choose not to vote? Does that indicate democracy is thriving or failing? What, if anything, should be done to improve voter turnout? This lesson provides students with background information and arguments for and against making voting compulsory.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12