Educator Resources

Middle School Distance Learning Programs

Visit the National Archives without leaving your classroom! Our free, interactive programs feature primary sources from our holdings. Each program aligns with National Social Studies Standards  and Common Core State Standards. We also provide teacher guides with pre- and post-program lessons. 

Scheduling Details

  • Available Tuesdays-Thursdays
  • Must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance
  • For groups of 10 or more students
  • Multiple sites can connect at the same time

We can deliver up to five programs per school per day. For schools with over five classes, we recommend connecting two to three classes at the same time or scheduling programs over multiple days.

Technology Requirements

You can connect your class via traditional videoconferencing equipment or online via a computer with a webcam, microphone, and speakers. 

Request your program today!

 


New! Decoding the Declaration

 

refer to caption

The five-man committee presenting the draft of the Declaration of Independence, June 28, 1776. Painting by John Trumbull (1817) on display in the U.S. Capitol.

Guiding Question:

What does the Declaration of Independence mean?

 

Students will analyze the Declaration of Independence through different lenses, examining it as an artifact, as a primary source, and as a persuasive text. Students will consider the argument for independence, the key principles of the Declaration, and what the text means today.

  • For grades 6–8
  • 45–60 minutes

 


 

The Charters of Freedom: Building a More Perfect Union

 

refer to caption

 

The Charters of Freedom: Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights

Guiding Question:

Why do the Charters of Freedom (Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights) exist?

 

Students will analyze opening passages of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. They will create a graphic organizer to help them distinguish the Charters of Freedom by their purpose. Next, students will match document excerpts to each excerpt’s origin – the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. The program will conclude with a discussion about the legacy of these founding documents.

  • For grades 6–12
  • 45–60 minutes
  • No required pre-program lesson

 


The Constitution at Work: Middle School Edition

Cartoon of Uncle Sam driving horses Image Source

 

Guiding Question:

How does the Constitution check and balance power?

 

Students will analyze primary sources to examine the powers of the Federal Government and discover how the Constitution created a stronger central government compared to the Articles of Confederation. They will also discover how the Constitution checks and balances power between the three branches of government and between the Federal Government and state governments. 

  • For grades 6–8
  • 45–60 minutes

 

Teacher Guide

 


The Bill of Rights in Real Life

The March on Washington Image Source

 

Guiding Question:

Why should we care about the Bill of Rights?

 

Students will focus on the rights and limitations within the Bill of Rights. They will identify Bill of Rights issues using historical scenarios from the holdings of the National Archives and learn why it is important for citizens to know their rights.

  • For grades 6–8
  • 45–60 minutes

 

Teacher Guide

 


 

Questions?

If you have questions about any of our programs, please contact us distancelearning@nara.gov.

 


Request your program today!

Register online. If you prefer, fill out and return our PDF form to distancelearning@nara.gov.

 

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