- Original Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights
- Public Vaults, showcasing the breadth and variety of the holdings of the National Archives, organized thematically around the Preamble of the Constitution
- Lawrence F. O'Brien temporary exhibit gallery
Reservations not required, but you can book a timed visit entry or reserve a guided tour for up to 15 people (at 9:45 a.m. Monday–Friday only).
ReSource Room at the Boeing Learning Center
Drop in during your museum visit to participate in hands-on activities and programs based on documents, images, maps, posters and more. Open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Reservations not required.
Constitution-in-Action Learning Lab
Bring your group of students, scouts, teachers, or other civic-minded individuals to explore how the actions of the Federal Government are based in our Constitution.
Participants take on the roles of archivists and researchers completing a very important assignment: providing the President of the United States with real-life examples of our Constitution in action. Working in replica storage and research spaces, participants will find, select and analyze document facsimiles. They will mine these primary sources for historical examples of Constitutional ideas like checks and balances and separation of powers, and connect them to specific passages in the Constitution to gain a greater understanding of the role it plays in our government and daily lives.
- Reservations required
- Ages 11–adult
- 12–36 participants
- 2 hours
- Reservations are available Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Choose 1st and 2nd dates of choice for your visit, and your preferred time: 10 a.m.–12 p.m. or 12:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
- Complete the online application.
Prepare your group before arrival
Divide them into six teams, each assigned to review a particular portion of the Constitution:
Team 1 = Article 1, sections 1-7
Team 2 = Article 1, sections 8-10
Team 3 = Article 2, all sections
Team 4 = Article 3, all sections
Team 5 =Article 4, all sections
Team 6 =Articles 5, 6, and 7
Submit participants’ names according to team number.
Complete the online pre-visit preparation activities on DocsTeach, our online tool for teaching with documents.
Review the following ideas contained in the Constitution:
Representative Government: A system of government in which the people elect officials to govern for them. These officials are held accountable to the voters through periodic elections.
Federalism: A form of government in which there is a constitutional division of power between a central government and regional governments.
Checks and Balances: A system of overlapping powers of the separate branches of government that permits each branch to limit, restrain, or inform the actions of the other branches.
Separation of Powers: A basic principle of American government that places different governing duties and powers among three independent and coequal branches: legislative, executive and judicial.
Enumerated Powers: The powers of governing that are specifically defined and authorized in the actual wording of the Constitution.
Implied Powers: The powers of government that, while not specifically defined and authorized in the Constitution, are not specifically prohibited.
Civic Responsibility: Actions by the people that demonstrate their interest and participation in the governing of their country.