Social Studies Lessons: “Champions of the 1st Amendment!”

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Guest Blog from Newseum! Engaging learning experiences for students and unique teacher resources on history, journalism and the First Amendment. Contact: educationprograms@newseum.org

Teachers, engage your students with a new angle on their history, English and government lessons! At the Newseum, we champion the First Amendment and have free, standards-based resources to support teachers of grades 3-university.

On-site, we offer classes that use the First Amendment to hone students’ history, civics and media literacy knowledge. For example, in “Making a Change,” students learn how participants in the civil rights movement exercised all five freedoms to advocate for – and against – change. Downloadable pre- and post-visit lesson plans are available for all classes.

Online, visit the Newseum Digital Classroom, free for teachers and students. Within the site, you will find video lessons, downloadable primary sources, interactives and more.

Use the video lessons to illustrate the history and role of the press in society, from the battle for a Bill of Rights to news coverage of the Sept. 11 catastrophe. Viewing guides and lesson plans accompany each video lesson.

Primary sources offer students a close look coverage of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln’s thoughts on emancipation and demands for the vote from Susan B. Anthony to Alice Paul.

Finally, our modules – thematic suites of resources – use history, media literacy and civics to tell the richly layered stories of the civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement and the 2012 presidential election. Through hundreds of primary sources, the interactive timelines show the evolution of participants’ goals and strategies, while interactive maps highlight the role of geography in social change. Students can use the artifacts and newspapers to compare and contrast artifacts and explore purpose, audience and point of view.

All three modules include standards-based lesson plans with instructions, activities, student worksheets and example worksheets.

We hope to see you soon – either at the museum or online! If you have any questions about our on-site offerings or online materials, please contact us at educationprograms@newseum.org. Or, call our reservation line, 202/292-6650. We are also active on social media, including Twitter (@NewseumEd), Facebook (facebook.com/NewseumEducation) and Google+ (gplusid.com/NewseumEd).

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