Congressional Timeline

The Congressional Timeline, developed and maintained by The Dirksen Congressional Center, arrays more than 900 of the nation’s laws on a timeline beginning with the first Congress in 1789 and continuing to the present. A second timeline “band” depicts major political events as context for Congress’s law-making.

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

Environmental Laws Timeline Activity

Students will have to select 25 environmental laws in American history from a much larger list. Their goal is to produce their own timeline of American environmental law history to present to the rest of the class. In doing so, they will develop critical thinking and analytic skills and articulate the importance of the Rule of Law to protecting the environment.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The 19th Amendment and the Road to Universal Suffrage

In this activity, students will explore the struggle for universal suffrage long after both men and women constitutionally had the right to vote. Following a progressive timeline, primary sources highlight voting problems that arose for minority groups throughout the 20th century. Students will answer questions as they work through the documents to reflect on if and when universal suffrage was ultimately achieved.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources, Timelines
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

A Case Study: The Sheppard Murder Trial

In this four lesson unit, students read selected background material on the Sheppard murder case and discuss the assigned readings in class. Activities include analyzing a political cartoon and a primary source document, writing and delivering a closing statement, and developing a timeline of the various court decisions made in the Sheppard case.

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