1. Introduction to the National Archives
2. Discussion: What are rights?
3. Main Activity: Students will review a series of primary sources from the National Archives and identify which part of the First Amendment they see in each source
4. Students will use imagined scenarios to brainstorm how they can exercise their First Amendment rights
5. Conclusion and time for Q&A
By completing this program, students will be better able to:
1. Explain what rights are and why they are important
2. Understand what the world would look like without rights
3. Identify the rights extended to citizens in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights
4. Analyze primary sources
National Center for History in the Schools History Standards
Standards for Grades K-4 Topic 3 Standard 4A
The student demonstrates an understanding of how the United States government was formed and of the nation’s basic democratic principles set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Explain the importance of the basic principles of American democracy that unify us as a nation; our individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; responsibility for the common good; equality of opportunity and equal protection of the law; freedom of speech and religion; majority rule with protection for minority rights; and limitations on government, with power held by the people and delegated by them to their elected officials who are responsible to those who elected them to office.
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.
National Standards for Civics and Government
Necessity and purposes of government. Explain probable consequences of the absence of government and of rules and laws. Explain that the basic purposes of government in the United States are to protect the rights of individuals and to promote the common good.
The American idea of constitutional government. Students should be able to explain how specific provisions of the United States Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, limit the powers of government in order to protect the rights of individuals, e.g., habeas corpus; trial by jury; ex post facto; freedom of religion, speech, press, and assembly; equal protection of the law; due process of law; right to counsel.
Political rights. Students should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on issues involving political rights.
The place of law in American society. Students should be able to explain the importance of law in the American constitutional system. To achieve this standard, students should be able to explain the importance of the rule of law in establishing limits on both those who govern and the governed protecting individual rights.
Common Core State Standards
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
Ask and answer questions about information from a speaker, offering appropriate elaboration and detail.
Identify the reasons and evidence a speaker provides to support particular points.
Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.