Founding Documents: The Meaning of the Declaration of Independence.

On June 8, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to write a declaration of independence. It named a committee to do the writing. One of its members was Thomas Jefferson, a lawyer from Virginia. He had been a leader in Virginia, and Virginia had elected him to the Continental Congress. The others on the committee were too busy with the revolution to work on the declaration, so Jefferson wrote it alone.

Learning about the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution

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 meaning and importance of the Preamble.
Free registration is required to use the resource.

Grades 4, 5, 6-12
Foundations of Democracy
Assessments

We the People: An Analysis of the Constitution

Students will recognize the different parts of the U.S. Constitution and conduct a close text reading to discover the meaning and significance of each part. In the main activities, they will analyze the way in which the document balances the workings of the government with the rights of the individual. The Lesson Extensions will support these analyses with text-based evidence from primary text sources.

Grades 5, 6, 7, 8
Rights and Responsibilities
Lesson Plans

George Washington and the Presidency

This short video highlights the crucial role played by George Washington in writing upon the “blank slate” of the Constitution. Washington was self-conscious about the importance of establishing principled precedents in his interpretation of Article II and what it said—or did not say—about the extent of executive power. According to Professor W. B. Allen, Washington was “conscious and deliberate” as he and his advisors gave meaning to the outline of the Constitution.

Grades 11, 12
Executive Branch/Presidency
Video

Memorial Day Lesson Plans & Resources

Free PreK-12 Lessons for Memorial Day.

Find new ways to discover the meaning of Memorial Day with students using the free K-12 resources in this curated collection from Share My Lesson. The lessons and activities honor military men and women who died while on duty and explore the wars they served in, as well as the impact on their families and our country.

Grades K-12
Federal Government
Lesson Plans

Martin’s Big Words

In this lesson, students will experience unequal treatment first hand – some will receive a sticker based on an arbitrary characteristic, like hair color – and by discussing their reactions, they will come to understand the meaning of equality. Students will learn about the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King and write about what his dream for equality means in their own lives.

Veterans Day Lesson Plans & Resources

PreK-12 Resources for Veteran's Day

Find new ways to teach students about the meaning of Veterans Day, celebrated on November 11th. Share My Lesson’s collection of free, vetted K-12 lesson plans and activities has new ideas, including how to turn this holiday into a community action day and a helpful toolkit for children of military families

Grades K-12
Citizenship
Lesson Plans

Thanksgiving Lesson Plans & Resources

Teach the meaning of Thanksgiving.

Find new ways to teach students about the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday. Share My Lesson’s vetted collection includes free preK-12 lesson plans, activities, and resources that explore this traditional event from multiple perspectives, including a focus on indigenous peoples and studying endangered cultures.