| »

Bill of Rights,

First United States Congress

The Bill of Rights consists of the first ten amendments to the U.S. constitution, and is a cornerstone of American democracy. George Mason refused to sign the U.S. constitution because it did not have a section containing rights of the individual.…

Monticello Classroom,

Thomas Jefferson Foundation

The Monticello Classroom offers extensive information about Thomas Jefferson, Virginia history, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, and other important aspects surrounding the founding of the United States. The website also allows visitors to log in and create projects, design lesson plans, or do homework. It also features fun information, such as why Thomas Jefferson is on the nickel, and how to make ice cream the colonial way.

Public Agenda: Helping Americans Explore Today's Issues,

Public Agenda

This website provides a wealth of up-to-date coverage of current issues, from America's role in the international community to Social Security. A large section for educators includes resources for teachers, students, parents, and leaders. Topics such as the rising cost of college tuition are particularly relevant for those involved in education. While there are limited resources specifically aimed at Virginia, the broader issues covered by the website can easily be oriented to fit discussions about their specific application on the state and local level.

The Supreme Court of Virginia: A Moot Court,

Cliff Gold

Individual liberties and public interest are at stake in two Virginia court cases engaged in this moot court: Rudolph v. Commonwealth (2009) and Cost v. Commonwealth (2008). Students will think about and analyze the decisions of the Virginia Court of…

Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services,

Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services

How does the government help individuals who might have trouble making it on their own? The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services aims to help people with disabilities gain independence, so that they can live, work, or go to school. This website offers a window into the way government helps individuals, with an extensive index of articles that show concrete examples of government actions. These include downloadable press releases relating to gubernatorial initiatives, charts, meeting minutes, and much more.

Brown v. Board of Education: Five Communities That Changed America,

National Park Service

the National Park Service. has created a Brown vs. Board of Education lesson plan that places the landmark civil rights case within the context of five communities affected by school segregation, including Farmville, Virginia. Background reading on the website can help place school desegregation in a national context. Four photographs of a segregated African American school in Farmville give a stark visual representation of inequality in education during the 1950s. The website also offers ways these resources can be used in the classroom, and supplementary resources useful for further research.

Justice Learning: Lesson Plans for Current Issues,

NPR's Justice Talking and The New York Times Learning Network

Justice Learning provides lesson plans and classroom activities on a wide range of issues. Each issue challenges students to think about complex issues, such as free speech in classrooms. Some exercises encourage students to deal with more difficult issues, such as cross burning and free speech or capital punishment and juvenile offenders. Each issue challenges one to think within a national, state, local, or classroom context. At the end of each lesson plan, there is a list of “Other Information on the Web.” Researchers on any topics covered on the website may find these links a good jumping-off point for their studies.

C-SPAN: The Youth Vote,

David Burstein

Most young people don't vote. In 2004, only 37% of eligible voters aged 18-24 voted. That was a dramatic 11% increase from 2000. In this video, Producer David Burstein discusses the issues of voter turnout among youth, which range from money to…

C-SPAN: The First Amendment and Student Expression,

C-SPAN

In this video, students discuss first amendment freedoms with Charles Haynes, Senior Scholar at the First Amendment Center. In particular, the discussion focuses on how first amendment freedoms…

U.S. Supreme Court: Loving v. Virginia,

Chief Justice Warren, U.S. Supreme Court

The Loving v. Virginia case was a landmark in both Virginia history and the Civil Rights movement. At the time of the case, interracial marriage was illegal in Virginia (and many other states). In this document, Chief Justice Earl Warren…