We Rule: Civics for All of US is a new national civic education initiative from the FDR Presidential Library/Center for Legislative Archives and the National Archives that promotes civic literacy and engagement. As part of this initiative the education team at the FDR Presidential Library/Center for Legislative Archives and educators across the National Archives provide teachers with programming, curricula, and exceptional field trip experiences both online and in-person. Our interactive distance learning programs draw upon the vast holdings of the National Archives to promote the knowledge and skills students need for civic engagement in the 21st century.
Live distance learning programs are available for groups of 10 or more students by request from the National Archives, Presidential Libraries, and The Center for Legislative Archives Tuesdays–Fridays.
Please submit your request to firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks in advance and include the following information:
- School/Group name and location (city and state)
- Requested program
- Preferred dates and times for your program (please provide 2-3 options)
- Grade level
- Number of students
Each program will be led by one of our educators located at National Archives sites and Presidential Libraries across the country. After submitting your program request, you will be connected to an available National Archives educator at one of our locations nationwide to finalize your reservation. You will also receive a teacher guide with additional pre- and post- program activities. The National Archives requires that the requesting educator or another educator from your institution be present during the student distance learning program to observe the session and support classroom management.
Programs are also offered as regularly scheduled interactive webinars. Registration is required but there is no minimum attendance prerequisite.
Available Distance Learning Programs
For Elementary Students
The Constitution Rules! (Grades K-2)
In this program, 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.
Time: 30 minutes
Make Your Voice Count: Learning About the First Amendment (Grades K–2)
During this interactive civics program, 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.
Time: 30 minutes
The Constitution and Our Community (Grades 3–5)
In this program, 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.
Time: 45 minutes
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.
Time: 45 minutes
For Secondary Students
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.
Time: 30–60 minutes
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.
Time: 30–60 minutes
The Bill of Rights Protects You (Grades 6–12)
In this interactive program, 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.
Time: 40–60 minutes
About We Rule: Civics for All of US
Using the varied historical documents and government records preserved by the National Archives and FDR Presidential Library/Center for Legislative Archives, the We Rule: Civics for All of US national civic education initiative delivers thought-provoking educational programs and powerful educational resources to the public. Programs are facilitated by National Archives educators across the country, both onsite and through distance learning, engaging diverse communities regardless of their proximity to NARA facilities.
The initiative is built around five questions:
- How do I benefit from civic knowledge and engagement?
- What tools are available for us to engage in our democracy?
- How have these tools been used by others in the past?
- How can I use these tools in my own life?
- How does the United States benefit from civic engagement?
These questions will guide us as we explore the big ideas of the founding documents and discover the power we have to make a difference as an important part of “We the People.”