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


Scheduled Programs


The 2020 Presidential Primary Sources Project Program Series

January – March 2020

Presidential Primary Sources Project bannerThe National Archives and our Presidential Libraries will offer programs as part of this annual series, alongside educators from the National Park Service, the Internet2 community, and cultural and historic organizations nationwide. These free, standards-aligned, 45-minute interactive videoconferencing programs are aimed at students in grades 4-12. In addition to the interactive video component, each program will also be live-streamed and recorded for on-demand viewing for free.

Find the 2020 schedule and register for sessions on the Internet2 website.

  • Herbert Hoover and the Bonus March: Presidential Blunder or Necessary Action?, February 27, 11 a.m. and 2.p.m. ET
  • Records of an Era: The Roosevelts 1933-1945, March 5, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET
  • Truman and the 1948 Election, March 24, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET



If you have questions about any of our programs, please contact us


Request your program today!

Register online. If you prefer, fill out and return our PDF form to