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13th Amendment, Congressional Copy

This handwritten congressional copy of the amendment that banned slavery is signed by President Lincoln and others.

Articles of Confederation

The first charter, or constitution, adopted by the 13 states following the American Revolution.

Bill of Rights

The first ten Amendments to the Constitution form the Bill of Rights.

Freedom Day Lesson: Elementary School

Students will relate personal experiences to the rights and responsibilities and the meaning of freedom.

Freedom Day Middle and High School Lesson

Lesson Plan for Middle School and High School for Freedom Day

Magna Carta

The Magna Carta, or “Great Charter,” established the rule of law.

Mayflower Compact

This document was an agreement drafted by the settlers of the first New England colony.

Perspectives on the Constitution: Constitutions Around the World

A perspective by Kim Lane Scheppele, professor of law, political science, and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Perspectives on the Constitution: Understanding Our Constitution

A perspective by Akhil Reed Amar, professor of law at Yale University Law School, and Douglas W. Kmiec, dean of Catholic University Law School.


This lesson builds student understanding of the relationships between the United States’ founding documents by comparing and contrasting the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

The Federalist Papers

A series of newspaper articles drafted by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, urging ratification of the new Constitution.

The Reconstruction Amendments

These three constitutional amendments abolished slavery and guaranteed equal protection of the laws and the right to vote.

Understanding Your Rights Lesson Plan

In this lesson students will first become acquainted with the wording of the Bill of Rights and determine language that needs further defining.

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