Jury service is an example of hands-on participation in democracy. In a five-minute video, 11 federal judges talk about jury service as an opportunity for citizens to be part of the judicial process that has an impact on daily life. The video, which deals with Constitutional principles and the practicalities of jury service, is part of the Court Shorts video series that includes installments on the rule of law and separation of powers.
Why is jury service important? What is the role of the jury? Jury service is the most direct way of participating in our democracy. In this video, students question federal judges from across the country on the basics of jury service.
This free curriculum unit from the New-York Historical Society examines how women used various forms of activism to fight for social change during the Progressive Era. Materials consider how women advocated for their rights and the role of women’s suffrage in this advocacy.
This video playlist is part of the New-York Historical Society’s Academy for American Democracy, an educational initiative focusing on history and civics education for sixth grade students. Videos explore the ideals of democracy, civic participation, the evolution of Ancient Athenian and American democracy, and the power of the people within democracies.
What does it mean to be an American? This free curriculum guide from the New-York Historical Society explores this question as it chronicles the long and complex history of Chinese Americans in the United States, from the new nation through the 21st century.
This free curriculum guide from the New-York Historical Society explores the contested efforts toward full citizenship and racial equality for African Americans that transpired in the fifty years after the Civil War. Examining both the activism for and opposition to Black citizenship rights, the materials in this curriculum underscore how ideas of freedom and citizenship were redefined by government and citizen action, and challenged by legal discrimination and violence.
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.
What does it take to be born an American citizen? And then, once you are, how do you prove it? And what does it get you? We talk to Dr. Mary Kate Hattan, Dan Cassino, Susan Pearson and Susan Vivian Mangold to find out where (American) babies come from and what that means.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.
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.
The right of a citizen to vote is not directly protected in the Constitution, and throughout our history that right has often been granted to some, but denied to others. However, through various amendments to the Constitution, the right to vote has become more and more inclusive. Uncover the battle for voting rights in the National Constitution Center’s learning module.