Know Your Rights! (Free)

by  National Archives

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Guiding Question: How can understanding the Bill of Rights
empower civic engagement?

Students will examine three historical case studies during a roundtable discussion with a facilitator from the National Archives. Each case study will serve as an example of how the government has made decisions that violated the Bill of Rights and how everyday citizens took action to hold the government accountable and retain their rights. The topics of the three case studies are the Gag Rule, Japanese Internment, and Gideon v. Wainwright. During the roundtable discussion, students will use their case studies to answer questions such as "is it ever okay for the government to overstep the Bill of Rights?" and "how can a piece of parchment safeguard individual rights?"

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About This Program


Point to Point: $0.00


This program is free.


45-60 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 9, 10, 11, 12

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:


Primary Disciplines

Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)
Google Hang Out

Booking Information

Programs are available by request Tuesday-Thursday and must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Please email distancelearning@nara.gov at least 24 hours in advance about program cancellations. Cancellations due to inclement weather will be rescheduled based on program availability.

About This Provider

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National Archives

Washington, DC
United States

The National Archives is an independent Federal agency that preserves and protects the historically valuable records of the United States
government. The mission of the National Archives is to provide public access to
these Federal Government records. Public access to government records
strengthens democracy by allowing Americans to claim their rights of
citizenship, hold their government accountable, and understand their history so
they can participate more effectively in their government.

The interactive Distance Learning programs of the National
Archives feature primary sources from the Archives' holdings, including historical
documents, photographs, maps, posters, and more!

National Archives Distance Learning Team

Program Details


1. Introduction to the National Archives

2. Document Analysis

3. Roundtable discussion. During the discussion, students will be asked to use the case studies to answer questions about the Bill the Rights.

4. Conclusion


By completing this program, students will be better able to:

1. Explain how the Bill of Rights can empower civic engagement

2. Understand why they should care about the Bill of Rights

3. Engage in discussions about the continuing significance of the Bill of Rights

4. Analyze primary sources

Standards Alignment

National Standards

United States History Content Standards for Grades 5-12 United States Era 3 Standard 3B
The student understands the guarantees of the Bill of Rights and its continuing significance.

How American constitutional government has shaped the character of American society. Students should be able to explain the extent to which Americans have internalized the values and principles of the Constitution and attempted to make its ideals realities.

Conflicts among values and principles in American political and social life. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues in which fundamental values and principles may be in conflict.

Political rights. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues regarding political rights.

Civic responsibilities. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues regarding civic responsibilities of citizens in American constitutional democracy.

Forms of political participation. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions about the means that citizens should use to monitor and influence the formation and implementation of public policy.

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Analyze seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century foundational U.S. documents of historical and literary significance (including The Declaration of Independence, the Preamble to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address) for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.

Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole.

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.