Documents of Freedom: History, Government, and Economics Through Primary Sources

This complete online textbook covers American history, government, and economic concepts. Resources include readings for students, activity directions for teachers, and handouts that are downloadable and printable for classroom use. Content is geared toward students in grades 8-12. All materials are aligned with Common Core and individual state standards.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Books, Descriptive Text, Essays, Games, Interactives, Lesson Plans, Media, Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources, Quizzes, Special Needs/Language Focus, Surveys, Video
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 12

Supreme Court Round-Up 2013-2014 eLesson

Our annual Supreme Court Round-Up eLesson is here! Students will research three cases from the 2013-2014 year and report on their findings. Download the student guide and answer key.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Preserving the Bill of Rights – Property Unit eLesson

While most people think of property as land or a dwelling, the term has much more constitutional significance and touches almost every aspect of citizens’ lives. The Founders, influenced by English philosopher John Locke, believed property rights in one’s body and person to be the root of all rights – rights that governments are established to protect.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11

Eisenhower and the Little Rock Crisis DBQ

Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus ordered his state’s National Guard to block the entry of nine newly-enrolled African American students to Central High School in Little Rock. A violent mob gathered in front of the school, and city police failed to control it. Finally, when asked for assistance by the mayor of Little Rock, President Eisenhower believed his constitutional duty to take care that the laws were faithfully executed left him no choice but to intervene…

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Teaching with Current Events

Read breaking news related to the Bill of Rights, gathered by Institute staff every school day, from reputable news sources across the country. Our news stories are chosen with young people in mind and on the basis of ease of use in the classroom, clarity of the constitutional issue, and neutral presentation. Most-clicked headlines are below, and you can find more stories grouped by constitutional principle on the menu to the left.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Landmark Supreme Court Cases

From the first days of American history until today, the Supreme Court has been pivotal in interpreting the Constitution and shaping America’s constitutional republic. Read summaries of the majority ruling in landmark Supreme Court cases that have had an impact on our rights as citizens.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Constitution Duel Quiz Game

As you take this Constitution Duel you will be asked to answer 15 multiple choice questions to defend your constitutional honor. All questions will come from 4 categories; the Constitution, primary source documents, landmark Supreme Court cases, and historic people.Take the quiz as an individual, or as a team – get your whole class involved and challenge another classroom to a Constitution knowledge duel!

  • Resource Type: Games, Primary Sources, Quizzes
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Fight for Your Rights! SMARTboard Resource

Informative and fun social studies game for teaching the Constitution and the Bill of Rights designed for your SMARTboard. Use with large or small groups, as a warm-up or refresher, on our government, rights, and liberties. Your students are sure to love this resource. Download now so you don’t have to have an internet connection in your classroom!

  • Resource Type: Games, Quizzes, Video
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Constitution Day Lesson Plan (High School)

In this lesson, students will study the Constitution from three perspectives, examining its structure, content, and underlying philosophy. After skimming and making inferences about the Constitution, students will focus on the separate articles: their purpose, content, and underlying ideas.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12