Legislative Branch

Distance Learning Programs

Visit the National Archives without leaving your school or home! We offer free distance learning opportunities for students and educators.

K–12 Distance Learning Programs

Our standards-based, interactive programs feature historical documents, photographs, maps, posters, and other primary sources. 

Educator Professional Development Webinars

Join the National Archives for free, one-hour professional development webinars that highlight primary source documents and classroom resources.

K-12 Distance Learning Programs

Our 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 guide with pre- and post-program lessons.

Point-to-point distance learning programs are available Tuesday–Thursday and must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. We can deliver up to four programs per school per day. For schools with over four classes, we recommend connecting with two to three classes at a time. You can connect your class via traditional videoconferencing equipment or online with a webcam, microphone, and speakers.

Request your program today!

New Program! The Constitution at Work: Middle School Edition

Cartoon of Uncle Sam driving horses Image Source

Guiding Questions:

How does the Constitution create a strong central government?
How does the Constitution separate and share power?


Why was it necessary to create the United States Constitution? Students will analyze primary source documents to determine how the Constitution creates a stronger central government compared to the Articles of Confederation. They will also discover how it shares and separates powers between the three branches of government and between the Federal government and state governments.

  • For grades 6–8
  • 45–60 minutes


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

Professional Development Webinars

Visit the National Archives without leaving your school or home! Our interactive webinars for educators feature historical documents, images, maps, posters, and other primary sources — as well as resources and strategies for bringing primary sources into your classroom. All webinars are free of charge.

Advance registration required. Questions? Please contact us at distancelearning@nara.gov.

Live captioning is available by request. Please include a request for live captioning services in your registration for the event and submit your registration at least two weeks in advance of the webinar.

An Introduction to DocsTeach.org and Online Resources from the National Archives

DocsTeachMonday, August 13, 2018, 12 p.m. EDT & Friday, August 17, 2018, 3 p.m. EDT

Register today

Gear up for the 2018-2019 school year with an introduction to DocsTeach.org, the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives. Discover primary sources for teaching history and civics topics. Explore the 12 different document-based activity tools and learn how, with a free DocsTeach account, you can create your own activities or modify existing activities to share with your students. Also learn about additional online resources from the National Archives including document analysis worksheets, and lesson plans and eBooks from the Center for Legislative Archives.



Preview of 2018 Distance Learning Programs for Students

Students in a Distance Learning ProgramMonday, August 13, 2018, 3 p.m. EDT & Friday, August 17, 2018, 12 p.m EDT

Register today

Discover how you can bring the National Archives to your classroom through interactive, primary source-based distance learning programs! In this special half-hour session, you will preview our K-12 distance learning programs, including new programs for the 2018-2019 school year. Learn about the technology requirements and how to prepare your students for the different programs.





Women's Voices in the Records of Congress

refer to caption

Appeal from the National Woman Suffrage Association, including Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 11/10/1876

View on DocsTeach

Wednesday, August 15, 2018, 12 p.m. EDT

Register today

This program is part of a new webinar series from the Center for Legislative Archives. Get an early look at new education resources and projects in development at the Center for Legislative Archives featuring the records of Congress.

The first webinar in this series will explore women’s voices in the fight for suffrage in the records of the 45th Congress around the time when Senator Aaron Sargent first introduced a woman suffrage amendment to the Constitution. During this webinar you will receive primary sources and activity suggestions that will help students understand the agency of women in the fight for the right to vote, and evaluate the arguments made for and against woman suffrage by women and men in the 1870s.





Teaching the Constitution with Political Cartoons

refer to caption

Anyone Home? Cartoon by Clifford Berryman, 2/24/1920

Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 7 p.m. EDT

Register today

Join the Center for Legislative Archives to discover how to use political cartoons to teach about the United States Constitution. Offered for the second year, this webinar will draw from the collection of Clifford K. Berryman cartoons from the U.S. Senate Collection. Berryman’s career as a political cartoonist in Washington, DC, spanned five decades and his cartoons are a rich resource for history and civics lessons.

During this interactive webinar, you will practice techniques for helping students evaluate visual content and explore ideas for how to use political cartoons to illustrate the “Big Ideas” of the Constitution, such as separation of powers and representative democracy. You will also explore additional resources from the National Archives for integrating political cartoons in the classroom, such as DocsTeach.org. This webinar is designed for middle school and high school educators.







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