Anyone Home? Using Political Cartoons to Consider the Lawmaking Process

This secondary level lesson plan, developed in collaboration with the National Archives, draws on the legendary political cartoons of Clifford Berryman to consider the lawmaking process. Students analyze the cartoon and describe how it illustrates the process. It aligns with both Common Core ELA standards and C3 Framework components.

  • Resource Type: Editorial Cartoons, Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Legislative Branch/Congress
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The Meaning of America

What kind of citizens are likely to emerge in a nation founded on individual rights, equality, and freedom of religion? What virtues are required for a robust citizenry? The Meaning of America, a ten-part curriculum, explores American character and identity through the use of imaginative fiction. Includes short stories by Jack London, Mark Twain, Herman Melville, Willa Cather, and Kurt Vonnegut. Discussion guides and video model conversations. Common Core-aligned.

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

The American Muse: Poems for Free Men and Women

How can poetry contribute to our shared national memory and help shape our national identity? The American Muse: Poems for Free Men and Women examines classic American poems, both to understand their words and to explore how reading poetry can join individual and community in a unique and powerful way. Includes poetry by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Billy Collins, Langston Hughes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Robert Hayden, and more.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Law-Abidingness: Reading Guide for “A Jury of Her Peers”

Does our obligation to uphold the law admit of exceptions? Debate the elementary civic virtue of law-abidingness and the appropriateness of civil disobedience as editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R. Kass, and Diana Schaub discuss Susan Glaspell’s story with Christopher DeMuth. Includes discussion guide and model conversation. Common Core-aligned.

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

Equality: A Lesson Plan for “Harrison Bergeron”

What kind of equality should we care about? Examine the difference between equality of outcome and equality of opportunity as editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R. Kass, and Diana Schaub discuss Kurt Vonnegut’s story with James W. Ceaser (University of Virginia). Includes discussion guide and model conversation.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Making One Out of Many: A Lesson on “The Namesake” by Willa Cather

Of what use is the American flag in promoting national attachment? Explore the meaning of the flag as a symbol of the nation as editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R. Kass, and Diana Schaub discuss Willa Cather’s story with William Schambra. Includes a discussion guide and model conversation.

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

Freedom and Individuality: Lesson on “To Build a Fire” by Jack London

What should we think of self-reliant, enterprising, risk-taking individuals? Reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of American individualism and independence as editors Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass discuss Jack London’s story. Includes a discussion guide and model conversation.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Courage and Self-Sacrifice: A Lesson on “Chamberlain” by Michael Shaara

Why do ordinary citizens risk their lives for their country? Explore the virtue of courage and how it can be cultivated, especially among self-interested citizens oriented toward the pursuit of their own happiness, as editors Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass discuss Michael Shaara’s story with Eliot A. Cohen (Johns Hopkins University). Includes a discussion guide and model conversation.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Courage and Self-Sacrifice: A Lesson on George S. Patton’s Speech to the Third Army

How can one inspire courage and self-sacrifice? Examine the role of honor and duty in inspiring men to fight as editors Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass discuss George S. Patton’s speech with Eliot A. Cohen (Johns Hopkins University). Includes a discussion guide and model conversation.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources, Video
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Enterprise and Commerce: A Lesson on “The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg” by Mark Twain

Is the commercial spirit good for civic virtue? Consider the status of virtue in a democratic society devoted to gain and self-interest as editors Amy A. Kass and Leon R. Kass discuss Mark Twain’s story with David Brooks (New York Times). Includes a discussion guide and model conversation.

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