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The Big Ideas of the U.S. Constitution
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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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
Checks and Balances in Action: Seeing the Big Picture
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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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
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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
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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
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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
Draft of Motion Rule for Marbury v. Madison
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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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
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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
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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
How Effective Were the Efforts of the Freedmen’s Bureau?
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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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
Judgment in Brown v. Board of Education
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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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
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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
National Archives Experience:  Digital Vaults
Unrestricted Use
Public Domain
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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
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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
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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