Citizenship and the U.S. Constitution

In this lesson students will examine the concept of “citizen” from a definitional perspective of what a citizen is and from the perspective of how citizenship is conferred in the United States. Students will discuss the rights and responsibilities of citizens and non-citizens and review the changing history of citizenship from colonial times to the present.

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

Abraham Lincoln and the U.S. Constitution

Abraham Lincoln’s political career and presidency were defined and marked by the constitutional issues of the young republic. This lesson traces Lincoln’s political life during a time of constitutional crisis. It examines Lincoln’s ideas and decisions regarding slavery and the use of presidential power to preserve the Federal Union during the Civil War.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10

The Power of Nonviolence: Rosa Parks: A Quest for Equal Protection Under the Law

This lesson asks students to revisit the well-known story of a figure in the civil rights movement–Rosa Parks–through the primary source documents associated with her arrest in 1955. The arrest occurred in the shadow of the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) and had a powerful impact on the public policy of segregation and the application of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8

What Fundamental Ideas About Government Do Americans Share?

In this lesson, you will examine some of the fundamental ideas about government that are contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. When you have completed this lesson, you should be able to explain those ideas and identify which ideas the class holds in common. If you support these ideas, you will be given an opportunity to go online and add your signature to those of the Founders of our nation who signed the original documents.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Constitution Day Across the Country

Various free, downloadable lessons across grades K through 12 to facilitate providing educational programs on Constitution Day. These interactive lessons teach about the development and evolution of the U.S. Constitution. Students are able to express themselves through discussion and debates while engaging in various activities.

  • Resource Type: Audio, Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

What Fundamental Ideas about Government Do Americans Share

In this lesson, students will examine some of the fundamental ideas about government that are contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Once the lesson is completed students should be able to explain those ideas and identify which ideas the class holds in common. If in support of these ideas, students will be given an opportunity to go online and add their signature to those of the Founders of our nation who signed the original documents.

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

Commemorating Presidents’ Day Resources

Teach your high school students about the constitutional legacy of George Washington, James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, and Ronald Reagan this Presidents’ Day. These free, ready-to-use lessons will engage your students in learning about these important presidents and how they shaped the history and Constitution of our nation. Each lesson was written and reviewed by scholars and contains questions to test student knowledge.

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

Constitution Day Scavenger Hunt with 60-Second Civics

Fifty-five delegates attended the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787. Most students can identify George Washington or James Madison. But what about the 53 other delegates? Who were they? How did they influence the convention? In this lesson, students will familiarize themselves with the delegates by listening to a series of 60-Second Civics podcast episodes devoted to the Framers of the Constitution.

  • Resource Type: Audio
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10