How a Bill Becomes a Law – Clean Water Act of 1972

The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly known as the Clean Water Act, was originally passed in 1948. By 1972, Congress had voted on an amended version of the law that included the expansion of regulations to prevent pollution of the nation’s waterways. In this lesson, students consider how the Clean Water Act of 1972 became a law. They identify key moments in the evolution of this bill including its path in Congress, its veto by President Nixon and its eventual enactment. Preparing and organizing information, students interpret these key events and share them in a storyboard presentation. While intended for 8th grade students, the lesson can be adapted for other grade levels.

District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862

The 150th anniversary of the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862
occurred in 2012. This bill was introduced to Congress to end slavery in the District of
Columbia. Many citizens and members of Congress alike noted that the legality of slavery in
the District of Columbia was inconsistent with the ideals and aspirations of the nation. Congress
approved the bill, and President Abraham Lincoln signed the act.
This activity features the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 and
other primary and secondary sources that tell the story of Congress’s role in this first major step
toward the freeing of enslaved African Americans. While intended for 8th grade students, the
lesson can be adapted for other grade levels.

Statue of Freedom and Philip Reid Primary Source Lesson

This primary source exploration focuses on the statue atop the Dome of the U.S. Capitol. More than 19 feet tall and cast in bronze, its name is Freedom. American artist Thomas Crawford sculpted Freedom from plaster at his studio in Rome, Italy. Crawford created three designs.

Women’s History in the United States

International Women’s Day has been commemorated across the world on March 8th since 1911 and every U.S. President has marked March as Women’s History Month since 1995. While the right to vote is a common topic of study in classrooms when examining women’s history, there are many more issues, perspectives, and accomplishments that require investigation across history, literature, and the arts to more fully appreciate and understand what women’s history in the U.S. encompasses. Our Teacher’s Guide provides compelling questions, lesson activities, resources for teaching about the intersection of place and history, and multimedia resources to integrate women’s perspectives and experiences throughout the school year.

Ida Tarbell and the Muckrakers

Ida Tarbell helped to pioneer investigative journalism when she wrote a series of magazine articles about John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Trust. She and other journalists, who were called “muckrakers,” aided Progressive Movement reform efforts. But Tarbell had another side to her career. This lesson provides writing prompts and a group activity on Tarbell.

Learn About Black History, Culture and Politics

Learn about Black history in the United States before and after the Civil War; the Civil Rights Movement; the history of Africa; African American art; and African American trailblazers.

Landmark Supreme Court Case: Roe v. Wade

The Supreme Court has the power to interpret the Constitution. Its rulings on cases determine the meaning of laws and acts of Congress and the president. Knowing the key decisions of the Supreme Court and the precedents they set is vital in understanding the meaning of laws, how our country has changed over time, and the direction the country is currently headed. In this lesson students will examine the case of Roe v. Wade.

Grades 9-12
Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
Interactives

Title IX

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex in educational settings. The law applied to any educational institution that received federal funding. This lesson has students learn about what Title IX does and explore its impact on gender equality today.

Grades 9-12
Federal Government
Interactives