Student Activities

Download an editable version of this page.

  1. Have students write a journal from the perspective of one of the figures in the documents.  How did they feel about their treatment?
  2. Debate an issue:
    • Has the Federal government been a progressive supporter in establishing and protecting the rights of its citizens? Why or why not? Should it?
    • Should there be certain issues that are left to the states to decide? Should the court system handle these issues or should other branches as well?
  3. Using select documents from the Documented Rights exhibit (working alone or in a group) create a timeline.  Next, focus on how, through the years, human and civil rights in the United States have been expanded to include guarantees for various diverse groups.
  4. Develop “A Tribute to Those Who Have Come Before.”
    Design a public forum for historical figures to talk about their lives and impact. Using the primary source documents and other resources, have students form a panel of important historical figures. These figures will discuss their contributions to American democracy using information from the exhibit.  Possible figures include Jackie Robinson, Susan B. Anthony, Abraham Lincoln, etc. After discussing their contributions, through a moderator, panel members may converse with other panel members about their common experiences or challenges.
  5. Documenting Today's Rights, students look for current events to see how rights are being denied or extended in the courts or around the world. 
  6. Mark locations on a map of the United States to see when and where particular rights were fought.