Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: A Lesson on the Declaration of Independence

With this teacher-created lesson plan, students will be able to: understand the meaning and central ideas of the Declaration of Independence; cite textual evidence to analyze this primary source; and analyze the structure of the document. Common Core-aligned.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Primary Sources
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 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

Freedom and Religion: A Lesson Plan on “The May-Pole of Merry Mount”

What kind of religious beliefs and practices support civic freedom and virtue? Compare two guiding ideas of the American republic—the pursuit of happiness and the spirit of reverence—as editors Amy A. Kass, Leon R. Kass, and Diana Schaub discuss Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story with Yuval Levin (Ethics and Public Policy Center). Includes a discussion guide and model conversation.

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