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The Big Ideas of the U.S. Constitution
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

In this activity students will identify and define seven key ideas contained in the U.S. Constitution by making matches from the grid. They will then analyze documents that demonstrate each big idea in action.

This activity is designed to prepare students for the Constitution-in-Action Learning Lab at the National Archives in Washington, DC. It is a part of a package of pre-visit activities associated with the lab experience.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
Checks and Balances in Action: Seeing the Big Picture
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

In this activity students will analyze documents that span the course of American history to see examples of "checks and balances" between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in action. Students will then match the documents they have examined with an appropriate description of the branches of government involved in the action.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
The Constitution in Action: Article II (Lab Team 3)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

In this activity students will analyze the Senate Journal of the First Congress and identify how the document demonstrates content contained within Article II of the Constitution in action.

This activity is designed to prepare students for the Constitution-in-Action Lab at the National Archives in Washington, DC. It is a part of a package of activities associated with the lab experience.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
The Constitution in Action: Article I (Lab Team 1)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

In this activity students will analyze the Oaths of Senators for the Impeachment Trial of William Jefferson Clinton and identify how the document demonstrates content contained within Article I, sections 1-7 of the Constitution in action.

This activity is designed to prepare students for the Constitution-in-Action Lab at the National Archives in Washington, DC. It is a part of a package of activities associated with the lab experience.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
The Constitution in Action: Article I (Lab Team 2)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

In this activity students will analyze the Declaration of Intention for Albert Einstein and identify how the document demonstrates content contained within Article I, sections 8-10 of the Constitution in action.

This activity is designed to prepare students for the Constitution-in-Action Lab at the National Archives in Washington, DC. It is a part of a package of activities associated with the lab experience.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
Draft of Motion Rule for Marbury v. Madison
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

This document is an order to show cause in the Marbury v. Madison Supreme Court case. An order to show cause explains that a defendant is expected to appear before the judge and defend his or her actions. The document shows damage from the 1898 fire in the Capitol Building.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
Judgment in Brown v. Board of Education
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

On May 17, 1954, in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (five separate cases consolidated under a single name), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that separate but equal public schools violated the 14th Amendment.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
Judgment in the U.S. Supreme Court Case Dred Scott v. John F. A. Sandford
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

In this ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that slaves were not citizens of the United States and, therefore, could not expect any protection from the Federal Government or the courts. The opinion also stated that Congress had no authority to ban slavery from a Federal territory.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
Oh Freedom! Sought Under the Fugitive Slave Act: Making Connections
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

The road to Emancipation was indeed stony! Enslaved people struggled to free themselves and loved ones, one person at a time.

This activity includes primary sources from the official records of the U.S. District Court at Boston that tell the story of William and Ellen Craft, a young couple from Macon, GA, who escaped to freedom in Boston in 1848. The two traveled together, Ellen as a White gentleman (she was the daughter of an African-American woman and a White master and passed as White), and William as her slave valet. They made their way to Boston, and lived in the home of Lewis Hayden, a former fugitive and abolition activist.

With the passing of the Fugitive Slave Act in September, 1850, the Crafts' respective owners employed the legal system to regain their escaped property. A U.S. Marshal was sent to the home of Lewis Hayden. Hayden refused to let the marshal in and threatened to ignite kegs of gunpowder; the Marshal left. Ellen and William fled to Britain, where they remained for 20 years. They eventually returned to the United States and settled back in Georgia.

In this activity, students will examine historic documents about these fugitives from slavery. Then, using the documents, they will construct historical narratives to tell their story. They can explore perspective and use standard elements of writing (plot, character, setting, conflict, impact). Thinking about essential questions/topics, they will begin their writing with a topic/opening sentence that sets out the main idea.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
Opinion of the Court by Chief Justice Earl Warren in the Case of Miranda v. Arizona
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

In 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested in Arizona and charged with kidnapping, robbery, and rape. When questioned by police, Miranda confessed. He was tried and convicted based on his confession. Miranda appealed his conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in 1966 that statements made by the accused may not be admitted in court without procedural safeguards. Page 31 from the decision describes two of those safeguards—the accused’s right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning. Selected pages are shown.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
Separation of Powers or Shared Powers: Weighing the Evidence
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

In this activity, students will identify and draw conclusions about the relationship between the legislative, executive and judicial branches by critically analyzing primary sources. Using the scale, they will decide whether the United States government more appropriately fits the concept of "separation of powers" or "shared powers." They will formulate an opinion about each document and place it on the scale accordingly, and support their opinions with specific evidence from the primary sources.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
To Sign or Not to Sign
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

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.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022
The Voting Record of the Constitution
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating

In this activity, students will analyze a primary source document to find relevant historical data and measure the degree of agreement and disagreement during the Constitutional Convention.

Subject:
History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
06/02/2022