Being an American

Through primary source analysis, writing assignments, discussion prompts, and other activities, students will “connect the dots” by focusing on the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civic values, American heroes, and exploring the meaning of citizenship to them.

Exploring the Ideals That Unite Us

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The Declaration of Independence Image

The Declaration of Independence

In this lesson, students will explore the structure, purpose, and significance of the Declaration of Independence. Students will analyze the concepts of inalienable or natural rights and government by consent to begin to understand the philosophical foundations of America’s constitutional government

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The United States Constitution Image

The United States Constitution

In this lesson, students will study the Constitution from three perspectives: structure, content, and underlying principles. They will study the purpose, content, underlying ideas, and constitutional principles of each Article in the Constitution.

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The Bill of Rights Image

The Bill of Rights

For the Bill of Rights to remain more than what Madison referred to as a “parchment barrier,” citizens must understand the purpose, content, and meaning of this important American document. In this lesson, students will identify and analyze the protections in the Bill of Rights as well as evaluate Supreme Court decisions in cases centered on Bill of Rights protections.

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America’s Civic Values Image

America’s Civic Values

This lesson offers students the opportunity to reflect on the virtues the Founders considered fundamental to a free society. After reflecting on the meaning of these values, students will analyze situations where civic values can be exercised and identify modern examples of those values in practice.

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American Heroes: Past and Present Image

American Heroes: Past and Present

Students will examine how a diverse group of Americans have exemplified the responsibilities of citizenship. Students will consider how these historic figures defended the principles of the Constitution and Bill of Rights through their choices and actions.

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A Personal Response to American Citizenship Image

A Personal Response to American Citizenship

This lesson challenges students to reflect on the meaning of American citizenship and understand its many forms, including private action and public service. Students will explore avenues for maintaining individual responsibility and civic engagement before articulating responses to the challenges of citizenship.

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