Lesson Plans and Resources

This section focuses teaching resources beyond traditional textbooks and provides ways to expand the learning in the Independence Hall Association digital textbook provided on this site. The section emphasizes bringing primary sources into classroom teaching as a resource for enhancing education. Primary sources are important vehicles to have students build strong research and analytical thinking skills that support learning across the curriculum.

One of the premier co-curriculum, student project-based programs supporting this type of learning is National History Day®, which is also featured here. Enabling students to learn the difference between the types of information, both in their kind, source and meaning, supports strong reading and language development, as well as historical thinking and civics literacy. To support this, we are presenting a resource developed through National History Day Philadelphia by the Greater Philadelphia Encyclopedia Project at Rutgers as an introduction.

In other sections we provide information about where to find resources to help students assess and use information sources related to O.V. Catto and the American Civil Rights story. It connects teachers and students to some trustworthy online resources, as well as museums with strong school outreach programs. Also featured in this section, are some original materials held at some premier institutions related to our nation’s Constitutional history, the Catto story and American Civil Rights.



Secondary Sources can come in many forms. These online sources for Philadelphia materials are produced by well-respected institutions.

Trustworthy Online Sources

Primary Sources:

Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL)
  • PhillyResearch.net, a gateway to research resources for, by, about, and from the greater Philadelphia area. It provides access to collections of thirty-seven member libraries and archives in the Greater Philadelphia Region. These institutions...

The following digital library collections are a strong first start to locate resources related to America’s civil rights history. Although in its early beginnings, the Digital Public Library of America is drawing from libraries across the United States. The other libraries are institution specific. They hold Philadelphia regional and...

Jeffrey Rosen and Kerry Sautner

"The more educated you are, the more likely you are to be civically engaged." — Robert Pondiscio, Fordham Foundation. Civic literacy is fundamental to the functioning of the American democratic republic. It requires knowledge of our Constitution, its history, and its values, as they have evolved and changed over time....

Eric Foner at the National Constitution Center

Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO, speaks on "The Second Founding of the Constitution." (The video starts at the 11:14 point in the recorded livestream.)

  • Kerry Sautner, Vice President of Visitor Experience, presents at the kickoff of the Catto Education initiative, August 31, 2017 (Presentation...

Visit the Conversations on Rights and Justice at the National Archives Revisit the National Archives celebration of the 225th Anniversary of the Bill of Rights and hear Congressman John Lewis speak to the meaning of the Bill of Rights to the Modern Civil Rights Movement.

ConSource: The Constitutional Sources Project ConSource provides many resources for civics learning. Among them are "Constitutional Theme" guides, tools for educators and members of the general public interested in exploring the history of the Constitution or particular Constitutional sections, themes and topics through primary source documents. Included in the...

Various Authors

This web portal features an interactive map and other mapping resources to explore sites related to the Catto story and America's civil rights history. Field trips, as well as using Google tools in the classroom, offer ways to see how these stories are evident around us today. These exercises...

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