Providing free education tools and materials for teachers, interpreters, students, and lifelong learners inside and outside the National Park Service is one important way we support the agency’s mission. The value of America's cultures and diverse heritages may be lost if it's not passed on to the next generation or experienced by the present one. Want to inspire young people to grow into responsible citizens? Looking for more resources to craft interpretation or educational programming plans? See the related resources below or visit our Education & Training page for more.
The National Park Service offers free online lesson plans through its Teaching with Historic Places series and, of over 160 offered, some feature the historic places in the United States where citizens and aspiring citizens took action to shape American politics. These lessons align with national curriculum standards and each lesson contains primary and secondary sources, including readings, maps, and images, and recommended activities. Lessons about this topic include,
- The Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March: Shaking the Conscience of the Nation
Learn how people in Selma, Alabama, and national civil rights organizations worked together to end the unconstitutional denial of voting rights to African Americans in the South.
- Lafayette Park: First Amendment Rights on the President's Doorstep
Learn how a group of determined women selected Lafayette Park, across from the White House, to demonstrate for their right to vote, providing a First Amendment model for many others.
- "The Great Chief Justice" at Home
Meet Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, whose public service led the court to prominence and power in the early 19th century. His opinions, formed during his early years as an attorney participating in social debates about federalism, helped shape the way the U.S. Constitution is interpreted today.
- Independence Hall: International Symbol of Freedom
Learn about Independence Hall and about how the international influence of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution led to the designation of the building in which they were adopted as a World Heritage Site.
- FEATURE: Civics in America
These highlighted lessons take public service, participation in the political process, commitment to social issues, civil discourse, and other activities as their focus.
- FEATURE: U.S. Constitutional History at Teaching with Historic Places
These featured lessons highlight historic places that help explain the power and influence of the Constitution and Bill of Rights in Americans' lives.