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.

Life Stages: Birth Podcast

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, 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.

Voting Rights

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.

Rights in America

This DocsTeach page includes a variety of primary sources and teaching activities exploring the ways Americans, including African Americans and others, have fought for, attained, and protected their rights. Many documents at the National Archives illustrate how individuals and groups asserted their rights as Americans. Use this site to find teaching activities to explore the topics such as slavery, racism, citizenship, women’s independence, immigration, and more.

Grades 4, 5, 6-12
Citizenship

Civics 360

Civics 360 is a comprehensive guide to middle school civics. Civics is all around us. Being informed about civics takes work. There is a lot to know about the government and how “We the People” interact with the government and each other. Use the resources in the modules to enhance your civic knowledge and skills.

Grades 5, 6, 7, 8, 10
Citizenship
Assessments