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NOVEMBER 1, 2010

Primary Source of
the Month

Bill of Rights (Draft), pg 1. Courtesy of the National Archives.
Bill of Rights (Draft), page 1
Courtesy of the National Archives



The Bill of Rights EFT
The Next Electronic Field Trip
is The Bill of Rights
November 18, 2010


2010–2011 Teaching Resources Catalog
New! 2010–2011
Teaching Resources Catalog


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2010–2011 Electronic Field Trip Scholarships


Kids Zone: History, Games & Fun
Games, activities, and resources about life in colonial America.


2009 AEP Distinguished Achievement Award
The Teacher Gazette received
a 2009 Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished
Achievement Award



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Colonial Williamsburg for Teachers


VOLUME 9, ISSUE 3

Top Stories


"George Mason's Objections to the Constitution"

In September 1787, during the final days of the Constitutional Convention, George Mason wrote on the back of a Committee of Style report his reasons for refusing to sign the Consitution. Manuscript copies of this document were circulated and Mason sent copies to various individuals, including George Washington. These objections included the lack of a Bill of Rights, a cause other delegates took up, which led to the addition of the Bill of Rights in 1789.

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Primary Source of the Month:
Bill of Rights (Draft)

This document shows the Senate's revisions on September 9, 1789 to what we now call the Bill of Rights. Through these revisions, they consolidated the seventeen amendments passed by the House of Representatives on August 24, 1789 down to twelve, which they then sent to the states for ratification.

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Teaching Strategy: George Mason Biography Puzzle

A controversial figure in his time, George Mason made an indelible mark on the government of this country. His arguments at the Constitutional Convention set off a clamor by the states to include a Bill of Rights. The ten constitutional amendments that became the Bill of Rights are modeled after Mason's Virginia Declaration of Rights. In this lesson, students will examine the life of George Mason and the contributions he made to the U.S. government, specifically the development of the Bill of Rights. This lesson can serve as an introduction to the Bill of Rights or can be presented at the end of a unit on the Constitution.

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Colonial Williamsburg Teaching Resources for Your Classroom

Colonial Williamsburg offers a variety of quality instructional materials about eighteenth-century life, including:

  • Jefferson & Adams: A Stage Play (DVD)

  • Jefferson & Adams: A Stage Play (Teacher Guide)

Learn more


Teaching News

50 Ways to Use Live Video Chat in the Classroom

Electronic Field Trips are a great way to use live video chat programs, such as Skype, in your classroom. Check out this list of 50 other ways to engage students using this popular technology!

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American History Lesson Plans Available for Download

Colonial Williamsburg and ABC-CLIO are working together to provide downloadable American history lesson plans on topics ranging from Jamestown to the election of 1800 to the slave trade.

Learn More


Quotation of the Month

"That all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent natural Rights… among which are the Enjoyment of Life and Liberty, with the Means of acquiring and possessing Property, and pursuing and obtaining Happiness and Safety."

George Mason, "Virginia Declaration of Rights,"
May 1776.


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