Students will learn what a symbol is and how this particular symbol—the American flag—is an important part of our everyday lives. Learning the history of the flag will help instill in students respect for our national symbol and help them learn appropriate etiquette regarding our flag. Students will learn that other symbols of our country, such as the president and certain holidays, like Flag Day, are important to us as well. Students can also contribute symbols from their familial, ethnic and national cultures to show the diversity of American society and its links to other parts of the world.
Students will consider the arguments made by members of the Continental Congress regarding whether or not to sign the Declaration of Independence. They will also have the opportunity to analyze each section of the Declaration to understand its meaning and consider the consequences of signing the document.
In this activity, students will examine excerpts from the Dunlap Broadside, the first printed and distributed copy of the Declaration of Independence.
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.
A cut-and-color activity sheet that encourages students to find George Washington in their school or community.
This lesson plan encourages students to analyze and use evidence from diverse sources to act as curators and create an interpretation plan for the Greenhouse Slave Quarters at Mount Vernon.
Review the facts, rulings, majority and minority opinions, and reasoning of these two landmark Fourteenth Amendment Supreme Court cases – Batson v. Kentucky and J.E.B. v. Alabama.
Apply landmark Supreme Court cases to contemporary scenarios related to your right to counsel and your right to a fair trial in the Sixth Amendment.
Should the federal government require licenses for gun owners and purchasers? This activity includes a deliberation reading and glossary, as well as accompanying handouts to give students additional information on the topic and to guide them through the deliberation process from planning to reflection. Deliberation teaches people how to discuss controversial issues by carefully considering multiple perspectives and searching for consensus. In preparation for deliberations, all participants read common, balanced background information on the issue. During the discourse, they offer arguments for each position on a contested public issue, first drawing from the text and then bringing in their own experiences.