The Iran Nuclear Deal and Its Critics

In 2015, President Barack Obama’s administration struck an agreement with the government of Iran and other countries intended to limit Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons. In May 2018, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the agreement known as the “nuclear deal” with Iran. All the nations that signed the deal, however, advised Trump not to withdraw. What will be the consequences of the U.S. withdrawal?

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

The President’s Roles and Responsibilities: Communicating with the President

In order to become informed participants in a democracy, students must learn about the women and men who make decisions concerning their lives, their country, and the world. The president of the United States is one such leader. As a nation, we place no greater responsibility on any one individual than we do on the president. Through several activites, students learn about the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. president and their own roles as citizens of a democracy.

  • Resource Type: Audio, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Research (Digests of Primary Sources), Video
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: K, 1, 2

Women’s History Month

Women’s history was first celebrated in the United States in March 1981 when Congress authorized the celebration on Women’s History Week. In 1987, upon the request of the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed a resolution to declare March Women’s History Month. Since that time, each president has continued to sign the resolution on an annual basis to continue the tradition of Women’s History Month celebrations.

  • Resource Type: Interactives, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Photography, Research (Digests of Primary Sources), Timelines
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Constitution of the United States

The original U.S. Constitution is on permanent display at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Drafted in 1787 after a hard-won victory in the War for Independence, this document codified the spirit of the Revolution into an ingenious practical scheme of government to promote the welfare of all its citizens.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades:

Advice & Consent: Choosing a Justice of the United States

According to Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution, “[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint… Judges of the supreme Court….” In March 2016, President Obama nominated Merrick Garland, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, to serve as a Justice. This lesson is designed to have students consider which issues and questions they think are important to explore in confirmation hearings.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Exploring the United States Constitution eBook

Each chapter connects one or more of the billions of primary source documents in the holdings of the National Archives to the principles found in the United States Constitution. These documents exemplify the workings of the three branches of the federal government as laid out in our Constitution. This eBook is available as a Multi-Touch book for iPad and Mac on iTunes, or for PC, Android devices, Mac, iPhone, iPad, or eReader with Scribd.

  • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

What Should the U.S. Do About North Korea’s Nuclear Weapons?

The United States and North Korea are involved in escalating tensions related to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The U.S. opposes North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons. The Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, however, believes he needs nuculear weapons to remain in power. While war with North Korea is probably not imminent, the prospect has caused alarm. A nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea would have devastating consequences.

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

Inaugurations: Stepping into History

Discover what inauguration ceremonies over the centuries can teach us about our changing nation and the leaders who have shaped it.

Taking a close look at the moments in which these leaders first took office can provide rich opportunities to investigate the history of the United States as it has changed over the centuries. It can also provide unique insights into these remarkable individuals as they first stepped into history.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The Acts of Congress

George Washington’s copy of the Acts passed at a Congress of the United States of America (New-York, 1789) contains key founding documents establishing the Union: the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and a record of acts passed by the first Congress. In the margins, Washington wrote “President,” “Powers,” and “Required,” underscoring the responsibilities of the first Chief Executive. Learn more about this rare volume in the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.

  • Resource Type: Books
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Crisis in Venezuela

The United States historically had strong diplomatic and economic relations with Venezuela. Venezuela has the world’s largest oil reserves and is the third largest source of imported oil for the U.S. For decades, Venezuela was a democratic state. The positive relationship between the U.S. and Venezuela changed in 1998. Venezuelans elected Hugo Chavez president that year. His political program was known as Chavismo.

  • Resource Type: Descriptive Text, Interactives, Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12