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. These programs can also accommodate students connecting from home.

Email distancelearning@nara.gov with questions or to request your program today!

We Rule: Civics for All of US

We Rule: Civics for All of US is a new education initiative from the National Archives that promotes civic literacy and engagement.

Learn more about our regularly scheduled webinars and by-request programs.

Decoding the Declaration

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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

 

Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote

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Woman Suffrage Parade in Washington, DC, 3/3/1913

View on DocsTeach

Guiding Question: How can people influence the government?

Using the founding documents of the United States and records of the National Archives, students will determine how and why women fought for the right to vote. Students will explore the challenges suffragists faced and discover why the fight for women’s voting rights persisted even after the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

  • For grades 6–8
  • 45–60 minutes

 

The Founding Documents: Building a More Perfect Union

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

Guiding Question: Why do the founding documents (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 founding documents 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

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