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  • National Archives and Records Administration
1897 Petition Against the Annexation of Hawaii
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
3.0 stars

This site recounts the struggle for control of Hawaii between native Hawaiians and American business interests in the late 1800s. This 1897 petition and a lobbying effort by native Hawaiians convinced the U.S. Congress not to annex the islands. But months later the U.S.S. Maine exploded in Havana and the Spanish-American War began. The U.S. needed a mid-Pacific fueling station and naval base.

Primary source images, standards correlation, and teaching activities are included in this resource.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Date Added:
08/24/2007
Artifact Analysis Worksheet
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
5.0 stars

The following artifact analysis worksheet was designed and developed by the Education Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration. You may find this worksheet useful as you introduce students to artifacts and primary sources of material culture, society and history.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
Teaching With Documents
Date Added:
01/22/2014
The Big Ideas of the U.S. Constitution
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
11/13/2020
Cartoon Analysis Worksheet
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

The cartoon analysis worksheet was designed and developed by the Education Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration. This worksheet will be useful when introducing students to cartoons as sources of historical, social and cultural information.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
Teaching With Documents
Date Added:
01/22/2014
Checks and Balances in Action: Seeing the Big Picture
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
11/13/2020
The Constitution in Action: Article II (Lab Team 3)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
5.0 stars

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:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
11/13/2020
The Constitution in Action: Article I (Lab Team 1)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
5.0 stars

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:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
11/13/2020
The Constitution in Action: Article I (Lab Team 2)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
5.0 stars

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:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
11/13/2020
The Constitution of the United States
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

The Constitution acted like a colossal merger, uniting a group of states with different interests, laws, and cultures. Under America’s first national government, the Articles of Confederation, the states acted together only for specific purposes. The Constitution united its citizens as members of a whole, vesting the power of the union in the people. Without it, the American Experiment might have ended as quickly as it had begun.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Reading
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Date Added:
12/08/2020
Court Documents Related to Martin Luther King, Jr., and Memphis Sanitation Workers
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This lesson provides fliers and other documents related to the demonstration in Memphis on March 28, 1968. On that day, students near the end of the march broke windows of businesses. Looting ensued. The march was halted. King was deeply distressed by the violence. He and fellow leaders negotiated a commitment to nonviolence among disagreeing factions in Memphis, and another march was planned for April 8. On April 4, as he stepped out of his motel room to go to dinner, he was assassinated.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Date Added:
01/09/2007
Draft of Motion Rule for Marbury v. Madison
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
12/11/2020
Drawing of a Raft 02/14/1818
Read the Fine Print
Rating
0.0 stars

On February 14, 1818, David Gordon received a patent for his raft design. When a patent is granted, it excludes others from making, using, offering for sale, or selling the invention. This drawing accompanied Gordon’s application.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
02/14/1818
The Eighth Avenue trolley, New York City (1904)
Read the Fine Print
Rating
0.0 stars

The Eighth Avenue trolley, New York City, sharing the street with horse-drawn produce wagon and an open automobile. Downtown, looking north (1904)

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
01/01/1904
Executive Order 9981: Desegregation of the Armed Forces (1948)
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed this executive order establishing the President's Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Services, committing the U.S. government to integrating the segregated military. Read and see the document here.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
www.ourdocs.gov
Author:
Harry S. Truman
Date Added:
07/26/1948
The Homestead Act of 1862
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This lesson recounts efforts to improve homesteading laws and make land ownership possible for more settlers. The distribution of government lands had been an issue since the Revolutionary War. Preemption -- settling the land first and paying for it later -- became national policy; however, supporting legislation was stymied until the secession of Southern states. See one of the first applications for land under this law. Teaching activities are included.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Date Added:
12/13/2005
How Effective Were the Efforts of the Freedmen’s Bureau?
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
4.0 stars

Students will analyze documents from the War Department’s Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands — better known as the Freedmen’s Bureau — that Congress established on March 3, 1865, as the Civil War was coming to an end. Using the scale in Weighing the Evidence, students will evaluate the effectiveness of the Freedmen’s Bureau in assisting formerly enslaved persons. Learning Objectives: Students will be able to identify and draw conclusions about the roles of the Freedmen’s Bureau (Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands), critically analyze primary sources, formulate opinions about the effectiveness of the Bureau, and back up their opinions verbally or in writing.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Reading Informational Text
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Author:
National Archives Education Team
Date Added:
12/08/2012
How Effective Were the Efforts of the Freedmen’s Bureau?
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This lesson leads students through analyzing primary source documents from the Civil War to determine if the Freedman's Bureaus was effective in assisting formerly enslaved persons.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
07/12/2014
Images of the American Revolution
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
5.0 stars

This lesson focuses on the American Revolution, which encouraged the founding fathers' desire to create a government that would, as stated in the Preamble, insure domestic tranquility and provide for the common defense. This lesson correlates to the National History Standards and the National Standards for Civics and Social Sciences.

Subject:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Date Added:
08/04/2000
Judgment in Brown v. Board of Education
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
12/11/2020
Judgment in the U.S. Supreme Court Case Dred Scott v. John F. A. Sandford
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
12/11/2020
Launching the New U.S. Navy
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This lesson tells how and why our Navy was created. After the Revolutionary War, Barbary pirates preyed on American vessels and held seamen for ransom. In 1794, Congress reestablished the Navy with authorization for six vessels.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Date Added:
10/28/2003
The Lewis and Clark Expedition
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This lesson presents 13 documents and photos related to the 1804-6 expedition into the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. The documents include a list of Indian presents Lewis purchased, his receipts for wine and tobacco, Jefferson's letter to Madison announcing the purchase of Louisiana, and Jefferson's message to Congress communicating the discoveries of the expedition.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Date Added:
08/07/2000
Magna Carta Translation
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter) is an Angevin charter originally issued in Latin in June 1215. The
Magna Carta was the first document forced onto a King of England by a group of his subjects in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their rights.
The charter is widely known throughout the English speaking world as an important part of the protracted historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law in England and beyond. Read a translation into English here.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Political Science
Material Type:
Primary Source
Reading
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Date Added:
03/20/2014
Map Analysis Worksheet
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
5.0 stars

The following map analysis worksheet was designed and developed by the Education Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration. You may find this worksheet useful as you introduce students to maps as primary sources of historical, social and cultural information.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Cultural Geography
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
Teaching With Documents
Date Added:
01/22/2014
Maps of Indian Territory, the Dawes Act, and Will Rogers' Enrollment Case File
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

This lesson encourages students to study a variety of documents to understand the impact of a particular piece of legislation and relates to the powers granted to Congress in Article I, Section 8 , of the Constitution, related to making laws. It correlates to the National History Standards and the National Standards for Civics and Social Sciences. It also has cross-curricular connections with with history, government, global studies, and music.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Law
General Law
Material Type:
Case Study
Lesson Plan
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Date Added:
07/21/2000
Motion Picture Analysis Worksheet
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

The following motion picture analysis worksheet was designed and developed by the Education Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration. You may find this worksheet useful as you introduce students to motion pictures as primary sources of historical, cultural, social and scientific information.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
Teaching With Documents
Date Added:
01/22/2014
National Archives Experience:  Digital Vaults
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

The "National Archives Experience: Digital Vaults" is a site that features digital items (mostly created or associated with the federal government) from the National Archives' extensive collection relating to United States history. The site provides interactive exercises and a tool to create posters, as well as slideshows with audio, captions, and multiple images.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Art History
Visual Arts
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
07/12/2014
Oh Freedom! Sought Under the Fugitive Slave Act: Making Connections
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
11/13/2020
Opinion of the Court by Chief Justice Earl Warren in the Case of Miranda v. Arizona
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

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:
U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
DocsTeach
Date Added:
12/11/2020
Photo Analysis Worksheet
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

The photo analysis worksheet was designed and developed by the Education Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration. You may find this worksheet useful as you introduce students to photographs as primary sources of historical, cultural and social information.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Primary Source
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
Teaching With Documents
Date Added:
07/30/2003
Poster Analysis Worksheet
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
Rating
0.0 stars

The following poster analysis worksheet was designed and developed by the Education Staff of the National Archives and Records Administration. You may find this worksheet useful as you introduce students to posters as sources of historical, social and cultural information.

Subject:
Arts and Humanities
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Primary Source
Provider:
National Archives and Records Administration
Provider Set:
Teaching With Documents
Date Added:
01/22/2014