Educator Resources

We Rule: Civics for All of US

We the People excerpt from the Constitution

 

We Rule: Civics for All of US is a new education initiative from the National Archives that promotes civic literacy and engagement. We're providing teachers with programming, curricula, and exceptional field trip experiences both online and at our locations across the country.

Our civics programs empower young people to make a positive difference and improve the world they are inheriting. These programs draw upon the vast archival holdings of the National Archives housed in our nation’s capital, the Presidential Libraries, and at National Archives facilities nationwide to promote the knowledge and skills students need for civic engagement in the 21st century.

We currently offer:

  • Teacher Professional Development Workshops
  • Student Distance Learning Programs by Request
  • Student Webinars

Teacher Professional Development Workshops

Educators, join the National Archives for a summer virtual workshop series. Each two-hour program will explore how to use primary sources to delve into the big ideas of the founding documents. During each interactive session, participants will engage with primary sources and partake in collaborative group work and discussion to discover how to use National Archives resources and programs to teach civic knowledge and skills.

Registration is free and each program will be held via Zoom. You will receive the connection information via email the week of the event. Certificates of participation will be available by request. Please email civics@nara.gov with any questions.

July 19, 2022, 12:30-2:30 p.m. ET - The Bill of Rights Workshop for Elementary Educators

Kids have rights! This online workshop will explore how to engage young learners in the active exploration of primary sources that teach about the rights embodied in the Bill of Rights.

Register

 

July 21, 2022, 12:30-2:30 p.m. ET - The Bill of Rights Workshop for Secondary Educators

Participants in this online workshop will study the history of the Bill of Rights by analyzing primary sources. Discussions will focus on how the Bill of Rights was developed into a charter of liberty, and the participants will consider the best ways to incorporate the study of the Bill of Rights in a civic education curriculum.

Register

 

July 26, 2022, 12:30-2:30 p.m. ET - We the People: Teaching the Constitution Workshop for Elementary Educators

Looking closely at the Preamble of the Constitution, teachers will work with primary sources from the National Archives and consider how the interpretation of “We the People” has changed over time. Participants will leave the online program with strategies for teaching the Constitution in ways that expand its accessibility in their K–5 classrooms.

Register

 

July 28, 2022, 12:30-2:30 p.m. ET - The Power to Vote: Who Decides? Workshop for Secondary Educators

Discover classroom resources for teaching the dynamic history of the debate over voting rights in the United States. Participants in this online workshop will consider how to engage students in exploring the role of the Constitution, the states, and ordinary citizens in this hallmark of democracy.

Register

 

Civics Distance Learning Programs by Request

Live, interactive distance learning programs are available for groups of 10 or more students from the National Archives, the Center for Legislative Archives, and Presidential Libraries free of charge Tuesdays-Fridays.

Please submit your request to civics@nara.gov at least two weeks in advance and include the following information:

  • School/group name and location (city and state)
  • Requested program
  • Preferred dates and times for your program (please provide 2-3 options)
  • Grade level
  • Number of students

Each program will be led by one of our educators located at National Archives sites and Presidential Libraries across the country. After submitting your program request, you will be connected to an available National Archives educator to finalize your reservation. You will also receive a teacher guide with additional pre- and post- program activities. We require that the requesting educator or another educator from your institution be present during the student distance learning program to observe the session and support classroom management.

Programs are also offered as regularly scheduled interactive webinars. Registration is required but there is no minimum attendance prerequisite.

 

Accordion

In this program, students will explore the idea of different responsibilities in their community and analyze images that highlight the jobs of the three branches of government as outlined in the Constitution.

Time: 30 minutes

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.

Time: 30 minutes

In this program, students will explore the idea of community, hone their primary source analysis skills by examining government records, and connect the Constitution to their own lives.

Time: 45 minutes

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.

Time: 45 minutes

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.

Time: 30–60 minutes

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 can use to address instances where their rights have been violated. This program will introduce students to the Bill of Rights and strengthen their civic understanding.

Time: 40–60 minutes

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.

Time: 30-60 minutes

 

Events

About We Rule: Civics for All of US

Using the varied historical documents and government records preserved by the National Archives, the We Rule: Civics for All of US national civics education initiative delivers thought-provoking educational programs and powerful educational resources to the public. These programs are facilitated by National Archives educators across the country, both onsite and through distance learning, engaging diverse communities regardless of their proximity to National Archives facilities.

The initiative is built around five questions:

  1. How do I benefit from civic knowledge and engagement?
  2. What tools are available for us to engage in our democracy?
  3. How have these tools been used by others in the past?
  4. How can I use these tools in my own life?
  5. How does the United States benefit from civic engagement?

These questions will guide us as we explore the big ideas of the founding documents and discover the power we have to make a difference as an important part of "We the People."

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