Civics for All of US is the new national civic education initiative from the Carter Library and the National Archives. Our mission is to build civic literacy and engagement by providing exemplary civic education resources and programs for all ages using the records of the U.S. Government. Civics for All of US delivers thought-provoking educational programs and powerful educational resources to the public, regardless of their proximity to a National Archives facility. Each program is led by one of our educators located at National Archives sites, the Center for Legislative Archives, and Presidential Libraries across the country; upon registering, you may specify in the Comments field that you would like Carter Library Education staff to lead your program. Visit https://civics.archives.gov/ to learn more!
Current Student Programming
Live, interactive distance learning programs are available for groups of 10 or more students free of charge. Programs take a hands-on approach to the founding documents of the United States, using the holdings of the National Archives to explore the big ideas of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and promoting the knowledge and skills students need for civic engagement in the 21st century. Teacher guides for each program provide additional pre- and post program activities for classroom use. Choose from the following programs today:
The Constitution Rules! (Grades K–2)
Students will explore the idea of different responsibilities in their community and analyze images that highlight the jobs of the three branches of government as outlined in the Constitution.
Make Your Voice Count: Learning About the First Amendment (Grades K–2)
Students will explore the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights using primary historical sources to learn about the importance of rights and how to exercise their freedoms.
The Constitution and Our Community (Grades 3–5)
Students will explore the idea of community, hone their primary source analysis skills by examining government records, and connect the Constitution to their own lives.
The First Amendment: Five Rights in One (Grades 3–5)
Students will explore the First Amendment freedoms from the Bill of Rights in this interactive and engaging civics program based on historical primary sources from the National Archives. Students will learn about the importance of First Amendment rights, identify examples in photographs and short written documents, and discover how to exercise those freedoms.
Voting Rights, The Constitution & Representative Government (Grades 6–8)
Using the Constitution, constitutional amendments, and legislation, students will explore the progression of voting rights in the United States and its impact on representative government. Additional primary source documents from the National Archives, including photographs and political cartoons, will enhance student understanding of the ways in which contemporary events and public civic engagement influence their lives today.
The Bill of Rights Protects You (Grades 6–12)
Students will explore the Bill of Rights and how it outlines both limits on government and the rights of the people. We will work together to analyze three case studies that underscore the remedies that citizens can use to address instances where their rights have been violated. This program will introduce students to the Bill of Rights and strengthen their civic understanding.
No Conscription Without Representation: Voting Rights and the Constitution (Grades 9–12)
Using the Constitution, constitutional amendments, legislation, and a Supreme Court case, students will explore the progression of voting rights in the United States with particular focus on the effort to lower the voting age to 18. Additional primary source documents from the National Archives, including photographs, video recordings, and political cartoons, will enhance student understanding of the ways in which contemporary events and public civic engagement influence their lives today.
Student programs are also offered as regularly scheduled webinars. Registration is required, but there is no minimum attendance prerequisite for student webinars.
Free, regularly scheduled professional development workshops for educators explore how to use primary sources to delve into the big ideas of the founding documents of the United States. During each interactive program, participants will engage with primary sources and partake in collaborative group work and discussion to discover how to use National Archives resources and programs to teach civic knowledge and skills. Register today for one of our upcoming workshops:
Tuesday, June 27, 2023, 2–3 p.m. EDT - Interrogating Presidential Photos
Since John F. Kennedy, most Presidents have had an official photographer, resulting in a wealth of primary source material. But what can students of all ages learn by taking a deeper look, past the subject matter and into the backgrounds and material culture represented in these photos, to learn more about how the lives of our leaders are presented? Join the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum for this online teacher workshop and discover resources for teaching with presidential photographs. This workshop is suitable for middle and high school educators.
Tuesday, July 11, 2023, 2–4 p.m. EDT - We the People: Teaching the Constitution Workshop for Elementary Educators
Looking closely at the Preamble of the Constitution, teachers will work with primary sources from the National Archives and consider how the interpretation of “We the People” has changed over time. Participants will leave the online program with strategies for teaching the Constitution in ways that expand its accessibility in their K–5 classrooms. Educators will also discover how to bring the Constitution to their classrooms through the Civics for All of US distance learning programs of the National Archives.
Tuesday, August 1, 2023, 2–4 p.m. EDT - The Bill of Rights Workshop for Elementary Educators
Kids have rights! This online workshop will explore how to engage young learners in the active exploration of primary sources that teach about the rights embodied in the Bill of Rights. Educators will discover resources for teaching the Bill of Rights in the elementary school classroom, including interactive Civics for All of US distance learning programs, graphic organizers, and DocsTeach activities.
Wednesday, August 2, 2023, 2–4 p.m. EDT - The Bill of Rights Workshop for Secondary Educators
Participants in this online workshop will study the history of the Bill of Rights by analyzing primary sources. Discussions will focus on how the Bill of Rights was developed into a charter of liberty, and the participants will consider the best ways to incorporate the study of the Bill of Rights in a civic education curriculum. Educators will also discover how to connect their students with the National Archives through Civics for All of US distance learning programs.
July 25–27, 2023, 2–4 p.m. EDT - The Virtual Three Branches Institute
We are pleased to join the White House Historical Association, U.S. Capitol Historical Society, and the Supreme Court Historical Society for this free professional development program that will connect you to primary sources and classroom resources for teaching the three branches of government.