WHERE FREEDOM SPEAKS: Lesson Guide
The U.S. Capitol Historical Society, in consultation with the teaching faculty of the St. Francis de Sales School in Philadelphia, PA, teacher and educational consultant Michael S. Henry, Ph.D., Bowie High School, MD, and other educators, has developed a series of lesson plans that supplement and expand on themes presented in Where Freedom Speaks. The lessons are adaptable for grades 1-8.
The lesson guide is designed to enhance classroom instruction about the Capitol and the Congress. Activities are targeted to three levels: Level 1 (grades 1-3), Level 2 (grades 4-5), and Level 3 (grades 6-8). However, some of the materials may be adapted to all grade levels. Lessons may be used during the preparation for performance of the pageant or for further instruction at grade levels 2 and 3 using the Society’s We, the People publication enclosed in this resource kit. Page 8 of the Production Guide provides information on how to obtain additional copies of We, the People for classroom use.
We also have provided you with ideas for classroom discussion and activities. These ideas are indicated by a light bulb.
For students, we have provided worksheets that go hand-in-hand with the We, the People book. Answer keys are provided in the back of this guide. These worksheets are indicated by a pencil. Please print the worksheets included on this website to make copies for your students. Finally, we have included follow-up activities that emphasize the particular subject discussed. These activities are indicated by the grade A+. The Society hopes that performance of the play and use of these classroom materials will stimulate students’ interest in American history and the principles of representative government, while enhancing their knowledge about the U.S. Capitol and the Congress.
Table of Contents
I. Symbols and Meanings [PDF]
II. Focus on the Capitol
- Symbolic Importance of the Capitol [PDF]
- Starting the National Capitol–worksheet
- Laying of the Cornerstone–follow-up activities
- Freemasons and Stonemasons–follow-up activities
- Capitol Building in the 1800′s–worksheet
- Building the Capitol–follow-up activities
- The Capitol Grows–worksheet [PDF]
- Construction of the Capitol–follow-up activities [PDF]
- Building Models to Scale–supplementary activity
- Artists and Architects Crossword Puzzle–worksheet
III. Your Capitol Tour
- Creating a Timeline–activity
- Creating a self-guided Tour of the Capitol–activity
- The Capitol–worksheets
IV. Laws and Lawmakers
- The Legislative Process — worksheet [PDF]
- Defining Legislative Officers — worksheet
- Laws and Lawmakers — follow-up activities [PDF]
V. The Bill of Rights
- Creating a Classroom “Bill of Rights” [PDF]
- Discussion of the Bill of Rights
- The Amendments — worksheet [PDF]
- Bill of Rights — worksheet [PDF]