This Bill of Rights Day (December 15) we’re offering a special preview of five new distance learning programs for students in grades K-12 over two days!
Teachers and caregivers, register your students today to be the first to experience these new programs on the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
All events will be delivered via Zoom and participant comments will be shared only with presenters to ensure a student-friendly environment. Registration will close 24 hours before each event.
Schedule of Events
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
11:15-11:55 a.m. ET – The Bill of Rights Protects You (Grades 6-12)
In this interactive program, students will explore the Bill of Rights and how it outlines both limits on government and the rights of the people. We will work together to analyze three case studies that underscore the remedies that citizens have to address instances where their rights have been violated. This program will introduce students to the Bill of Rights and strengthen their civic understanding.
1:15-1:45 p.m. ET – Make Your Voice Count: Learning About the First Amendment (Grades K-2)
During this interactive civics program, students will explore the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights using primary historical sources to learn about the importance of rights and how to exercise their freedoms.
2:15-3:00 p.m. ET – The First Amendment: Five Rights in One! (Grades 3-5)
Students will explore the First Amendment freedoms from the Bill of Rights in this interactive and engaging civics program based on historical primary sources from the National Archives. Students will learn about the importance of First Amendment rights, identify examples in photographs and short written documents, and discover how to exercise those freedoms.
Thursday, December 16, 2021
11:15-11:45 a.m. ET – No Conscription Without Representation: Voting Rights and the Constitution (Grades 9-12)
Using the Constitution, Constitutional amendments, legislation and a Supreme Court case, students will explore the progression of voting rights in the United States with particular focus on the effort to lower the voting age to 18. Additional primary source documents from the National Archives including photographs, video recordings and political cartoons will enhance student understanding of the ways in which contemporary events and public civic engagement influence their lives today.
1:15-1:45 p.m. ET – Voting Rights, the Constitution, & Representative Government (Grades 6-8)
Using the Constitution, Constitutional amendments, and legislation, students will explore the progression of voting rights in the United States and its impact on representative government. Additional primary source documents from the National Archives including photographs and political cartoons will enhance student understanding of the ways in which contemporary events and public civic engagement influence their lives today.
Can’t make December dates? We are looking for classes of 10+ students to pilot the new programs and provide feedback in January. If interested, email email@example.com to learn more.
These programs are offered as a part of We Rule: Civics for All of US, a new education initiative from the National Archives that promotes civic literacy and engagement. Our interactive distance learning programs draw upon the vast holdings of the National Archives to promote the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students need for civic engagement in the 21st century. Each program is led by one of our educators located at National Archives sites and Presidential Libraries across the country. Visit www.archives.gov/education/civic-education for more information.
Additional Resources for Teaching the Bill of Rights
On December 15, 1791, three-fourths of the states ratified the first ten amendments to the Constitution. As we look back at 230 years of the Bill of Rights, the National Archives offers a variety of resources to unpack the origins and legacy of this founding document.
The Bill of Rights on DocsTeach
The Amending America page on DocsTeach is a great place to find primary sources and teaching activities for exploring how we’ve changed our Constitution to protect rights, expand participation and refine government powers.
Check out teaching activities that delve into Bill of Rights topics throughout history including:
Students will analyze primary sources and match them with the rights extended to Americans by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Students will analyze documents that span the course of American history and connect them to the different phrases found within the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Students will focus on a letter written by playwright Lillian Hellman to the House Committee on Un-American Activities in response to a subpoena for testimony. Students will analyze Ms. Hellman’s arguments both for and against invoking her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and come to a determination as to why such a right exists within the U.S. Constitution.
Students will carefully analyze a petition from Absalom Jones of Philadelphia regarding apprehension of freemen under the fugitive slave law.
Putting the Bill of Rights to the Test eBook
Explore some of the core concepts, or protections, found in the Bill of Rights, and how they’ve been tested throughout American history in Putting the Bill of Rights to the Test: A Primary Source Workbook.
Each chapter leads you to consider the implications of one core concept and includes:
- Background Information
- A key question or questions to frame your thinking
- Questions to help you analyze the document
- A primary source document or documents
- Discussion questions to help you consider the impact or importance of the concept
Congress Creates the Bill of Rights
Go back to the beginning with the Center for Legislative Archives and discover how Congress created the Bill of Rights with an eBook, iPad app, and activities for students. Students examine the evolving language of each proposed amendment as it was shaped in the House and Senate.
Looking for even more resources on the history of the Bill of Rights? You can find videos, online exhibits, articles and more on our website.