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

The 19th Amendment: A Woman’s Right to Vote

Voting is the most basic right of a citizen and the most important right in a democracy. When you vote, you are choosing the people who will make the laws. For almost a century and a half of our nation’s history, women were barred from exercising this fundamental right. This is a film about their long, difficult struggle to win the right to vote. It’s about citizenship, the power of the vote, and why women had to change the Constitution with the 19th Amendment to get the vote.

Can You Pass the Citizenship Quiz?

Could you pass the US citizenship test? Take these quizzes to see how well you know the American history and civics required of people taking the naturalization test. The actual test is not multiple choice, but these are the 100 questions from which each potential citizen’s 10-question civics and history exam are drawn.

  • Resource Type: Assessments, Quizzes, Tests
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Citizen Obligations and Responsibilities

This resource provides students with an English language video and associated student friendly readings (in English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole), as well as reading and video guides and self assessment tools. Using these, students will explore the obligations and responsibilities of citizenship.
Free registration is required to use the resource.

  • Resource Type: ESL Appropriate, ESL Materials, Quizzes, Translated Materials, Video
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Civics Flash Cards for the Naturalization Test

This flash card set of 100 questions and answers was developed to help immigrants prepare for the naturalization test. By providing questions and answers about U.S. history and government, they also are a great tool to use in the classroom for citizenship preparation. Note that some answers may vary from state to state while others may change because of elections or appointments. The flash cards were created by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and last revised in February 2012.

  • Resource Type: Games, Interactives
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Defining Classroom Citizenship

The founders understood that, in order to preserve their liberty and happiness, and that of future generations, the foundation of successful self-government was citizens who understood and applied certain virtues. They constructed the U.S. Constitution according to their study of the principles and virtues that were most necessary to sustain a free, prosperous, and orderly society. This lesson is ideal for the first day of school.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Women as Citizens Under the Constitution

This short video traces the evolution of constitutional theory about women’s citizenship. The original Constitution is gender-neutral and women shared many rights enjoyed by men: right to petition, freedom of religion, trial by jury, etc. However, as Dr. Rosemarie Zagarri points out, women’s rights evolved slowly over time in a checkerboard fashion, culminating in the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1919.

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