Desk at Constitution hall
Table in Independence Hall Philadelphia, PA.

December Civics and History Activity

Directions: Click on the linked words. Find the answer and write it on your answer sheet.

Web browsers have a feature called History. It "remembers" each page that is visited. You can use it to go to a web site someone has recently visited using the computer. Try using the History feature to return to this web page.

1. The National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol has 100 statues. Each state has contributed two.
Identify one of the individuals your state has honored with a statue there. Why was that individual honored?


2. On December 6, 1865, the ratification of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution was completed.
Which amendment is it?


What change did it make?

3. In December 1965, John and Mary Beth Tinker, and Christopher Eckhardt were punished for doing something at their Des Moines Iowa public school. Their punishment was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. Do some digging about the case. Examine your school's policy regarding similar behavior. (See your student handbook and the School Board's Policy book)

Would you be punished at your school for doing what these students did in 1965?




Use your Internet research skills to answer these questions.

4. On December 1, 1955, a woman took a heroic stand by sitting on a bus. Her action was the birth of the modern American civil rights movement.
She reflected on the moment, "All I was doing was trying to get home from work."

Who was she?

What did she do?

How has the United States honored her?


5. As of December 15, 1791, three-fourths of the states had ratified the first ten amendments
to the U.S. Constitution. What do we call these amendments, today?


What rights of citizens does the First Amendment protect?


The Story of the Bill of Rights Videos

6. The Great Seal of the United States is rich in symbolism.
How many times does the number 13 occur on it?
(Hint: Counting required)


Why do you think there are so many 13's?


7. He said, "The Constitution was made for the people and not the people for the Constitution."

Who said this?

What is he saying about government?


Think about it: How does this apply to a current issue in your local, your state or our federal government?


8. On Dec 19, 1974, Nelson Rockefeller was sworn in as the new Vice President of the United States
under President Gerald Ford. Neither of these men were elected to these offices.

How did two individuals, neither of whom were elected to these offices,
become the President of the United States of America and Vice President of the United States of America?


9. On Dec. 16th, a band of people engaged in an act of civil disobedience. One of them later described their actions.

"In about three hours from the time we went on board, we had thus broken and thrown overboard
every tea chest to be found in the ship, while those in the other ships were disposing of the tea in the
same way, at the same time. We were surrounded by British armed ships, but no attempt was made to resist us." George Hewes

What was the event?


Contrast this action with a recent act of civil disobedience. How are they different?


Was the outcome of each action positive or negative?


Predict: the story of the first protest is still taught to grade school children two hundred years later.
Will the second protest be similalry remembered? Explain.


Consider the photo at the top of this web page. There is an historic document on the right, lower corner of the table.
Click on the photo. (Web tip: Once the photo opens in the web page, look at your cursor. It is a small magnifying glass
with a plus sign in it. Click on the photo. It will enlarge. The cursor now has a minus sign in it. If you click on the image it will be reduced.)

What is the significance of that document - American Crisis?


"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt 1910

Theodore Roosevelt - film / audio Library of Congress

Civics & Constitution: Projects, Essays, Elections & Voting, Quotes on government , Resources

Watch the Revolutionary War documentary movie called Winter Patriots on the Mount Vernon web site. Exceptional


Embark on the U.S. Capitol Virtual Tour Explore the Washington Crossing Historic Park web site.
The Bill of Rights: Basic / Advanced Crossing the Delaware: A Visual Myth or Reality?
The Washington Monument

Mystery Historic Object project
National Museum of American History CSPAN Student Cam video contest
Founding Mothers & the Daughters of Liberty Emancipation Proclamations activity
Susan B Anthony & Voting Freedom of Speech rights at school project
Speech After Being Convicted Of Voting - Why vote? Nothing But the Truth by Avi literature activities
Freedom In America: Some Assembly Required Theodore Roosevelt essay - reforms
The Common Good Government - and the issues surrounding Diversity
Centuries of Citizenship - Constitution timeline Thomas Paine's Mighty Pen - Common Sense
Solve the History Mystery Message. U.S. Senate Chamber Desks - Candy?
The Avalon Project at Yale - digital documents related to the American Constitution; the Cold War;
and the United States concerning Native Americans and Slavery.

Internet Hunts / Nature / Computers / Puzzles & Projects / Civics & History / Pennsylvania Projects / Problem Based Learning / Home

2006 Cynthia J. O'Hora, In the spirit of Thomas Paine released to public domain. posted 9/2006, UTD 11/2018
All trademarks, copyright and logos belong to their respective owners.

tree icon Save a tree - use a Digital Answer Format - Highlight the text. Copy it. Paste it in a word processing document. Save the document in your folder. Answer on the word processing document in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font (avoid: blackmore, brodfont dear or other ornate artistic fonts). Save frequently as you work. Be sure to enter your name & the date at the top of the document. Submit via email attachment or class dropbox. Bad things happen: Save a copy of the response document for your records.

Proof read your responses. It is funny how speling errors and typeos sneak in to the bets work. smiling icon How to: Make your own printer ready paper answer sheet with lines.


NCTE Standard 3 - Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
NCTE Standard 8 - Students use a variety of technology and information resources to gather, synthesize, and communicate knowledge.
PA Academic Standards - History, Civics and Government, Science and Technology, Reading Writing, Mathematics
ISTE Standard 3 - Technology productivity tools
ISTE Standard 5 - Technology research tools
Information Literacy Standards - Independent Learning
National Standards for Civics and Government