December 15 is Bill of Rights Day, which commemorates the ratification of the first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution. We’re sharing documents and activities related to protecting and expanding rights in America ahead of Bill of Rights Day next week.
On DocsTeach.org, the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives, we have primary sources and teaching activities related to freedom of speech, the right to petition, protests and demonstrations, and more.
Explore our Rights in America page.
Primary source sets on our Rights in America page include:
- Women’s Rights
- Civil Rights
- Native American Rights
- Hispanic/Latinx Rights
- Americans with Disabilities
- Child Labor
- Japanese Internment
- Unions & Strikes
- and more
A few examples of teaching activities on the page are:
- The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights (for elementary students)
- The First Amendment (middle school)
- Search Warrants and the 4th Amendment
- We Shall Overcome: March on Washington
- Integration of the U.S. Armed Forces
- Assimilation of American Indians
You and your students can also explore online exhibits related to the Bill of Rights and rights in America. In Amending America: Why a Bill of Rights?, learn how the omission of a bill of rights was a mistake almost fatal to ratification of the Constitution. Or explore Records of Rights, where documents from the holdings of the National Archives illustrate how Americans have endeavored to define, secure, and protect their rights.
Two eBooks, created by us at the National Archives, are useful for teaching about the creation of the Bill of Rights and for how the protections afforded by the first 10 amendments have been put to the test over the course of our nation’s history:
You can also explore the impact of the Bill of Rights through past blog posts. Topics include limits to freedom of the press, suspending due process and Japanese internment, the death penalty and cruel and unusual punishment, freedom of the press and the 14th amendment, freedom of religion, and more.