Lesson Plans

Early Development of Church and State in Colonial America

Grade Level: 7-12
Topics: U.S. History, Civics/Government, Language Arts

In this lesson, students learn of the Puritans establishing the Massachusetts Colony under the direction of their leader, John Winthrop. Students will understand that while the colony was set up under democratic principles, democratic thought didn’t extend to religion. When Anne Hutchison challenged this doctrine and began to preach the Bible as men were doing, the leaders stopped her and banished her from the colony. Working in small groups, students will research and develop mini-reports of past religious dissenters, examining their reasons and message, the risks they took, and the degree of success they obtained. The groups will present their findings to the class and compare their subject with the case of Anne Hutchinson. In an individual assignment, students will write an analysis paper or create a multimedia presentation comparing the experiences of these subjects to that of Anne Hutchinson and how any one of them experienced religious liberty.

Download the PDF

Video - A City Upon a Hill

 

 

Evolution of Religious Liberty in Post-Revolutionary America

Grade Level: 7-12
Topics: U.S. History, Civics/Government, Language Arts

In this lesson, students will explore the extent of religious diversity in the United States during and after independence. They will analyze how the Founding Fathers protected all religions from discrimination by promoting tolerance and then extended protection by establishing a “wall of separation” between church and state. In the main activity, students will study contemporary case studies on the Establishment Clause in the First Amendment and determine the extent to which the wall between church and state protects religious liberty.

Dowload the PDF

Video - Independence in Blasphemy

Video - Religious Liberty

Video - Church and State

 

 

A Constitution without God

Grade Level: 7-12
Topics: U.S. History, Civics/Government, Language Arts

In this lesson, students will examine the First Amendment’s religious clause and its application to contemporary issues of religious liberty. Students will review video segments from First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty that explore the development of the freedom of worship clauses in the First Amendment and the establishment of a separation of church and state.

Download the PDF

Video - Protection of Religious Liberty

Video - Campaign of 1800

 

More Lesson Plans

Explore more lesson plans from the First Amendment Center by clicking here.

Check Local Listings Check Local Listings

Find out when you can watch First Freedom: The Fight For Religious Liberty on your local PBS Station

Watch Video Watch Video

Watch clips and more from First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty

What Influenced the Founders What Influenced the Founders

Learn more about how the founders came to their decision on the freedom of conscience