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Free Lessons Index

CRF provdes classroom teachers and students with high-quality content and thought-provoking questioning strategies to promote critical-thinking development, open discussion of issues, and interactive activities to heighten learning. When addressing controversial contemporary or historical issues, we strive to provide a balanced presentation and multiple perspectives. Most of our lessons directly address national and state standards, and additionally we are aligning to the common core state standards in English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social-Sciences.  

The Common Core Does Not Have to Be a Great Wall: Fun Ways to Teach About China

This webinar will explore four Common Core-aligned lessons for middle school that provide interactive ways to teach early Chinese history, writing, religion, law, and economics. Ever play “Oregon Trail”? We’ll highlight our similar “Silk Road” simulated journey with attendees. By the way, the first 20 registrants who attend the webinar get a stipend.

When: Thursday, October 15, 2015 from 3:30pm to 4:30pm (Pacific Time)  
Where: Online  
Free  - Register Now!


Your  publications are wonderful, I consider them among the finest historical publications I receive, they enhance and
deepen my own understanding. Thank you again for your consistently polished products.

— Chris H. , Teacher


Bill of Rights in Action

Breaking New Grounds
Fall 2015 (31:1)

James Madison and the Bill of Rights

Hatshepsut: How a Woman Took the Throne


2015 Catalog


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freeexerciveicon1NEW COMMON CORE LESSON: The Free Exercise of Religion in America 

When, if ever, may the government limit freedom of religion? The Supreme Court and Congress have grappled with this question.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution begins with what are known as the religion clauses: “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . . .” Note that initially the First Amendment only limited the actions of Congress, our national legislature, but not the governments of any of the states. That came later more. . .

The Crisis in Ukraine examines the crisis in Ukraine.

Bill of Rights in Action Archive Hundreds of lessons on U.S. history, world history, and government.

CATeach A one-stop resource center for California social studies educators at the elementary, middle, and high school grade levels.

Educating About Immigrationis a new web site devoted to issues of immigration for the classroom from CRF!

Educating About Intellectual Property is a CRF and Street Law, Inc. collaboration. This exciting new web resource on intellectual property has high-interest materials for classroom and individual use.

America's Economic Crisis | Presidents Day  |  School Violence | Terrorism | Iraq | Black History MonthBrown v. Board | Immigration | Election | Constitution | Impeachment | Service Learning  |  Free Sample Lessons  |  Browse CRF's Catalog


Bill of Rights in Action Archive Hundreds of lessons on U.S. history, world history, and government.

America's Economic Crisis Lessons to examine how America has confronted previous economic issues and crisis.

Presidents Day Lessons the offers educators and students an opportunity to reflect on previous presidents—both their contributions to the country and on the challenges and controversies faced by their administrations.

School Violence Lessons and resources.
Discussing Controversial Issues Materials for discussing a number of controversial topic includes a reading with a focus question and additional resources.

America Responds to Terrorism More than 20 lessons and hundreds of research links. 

War in Iraq Lessons and many research links.

Black History Month Lessons and Resources

Brown v. Board 15 lessons marking the historic Brown decision.

Educating About Immigration  An interactive web-based resource focused on helping students everywhere understand one of this nation’s most emotionally charged issues.

Election Central Resources for exploring the electoral process, past and present.

Impeachment Current and historic issues surrounding impeachment.


Foundations of Our Constitution Readings, lessons, and texts of American documents. 

Constitution Day Lessons, resources, and links.

Service Learning:

A Guide to Effective Citizenship Through AmeriCorps (PDF)Ten two-hour modules.

Giving Back Manual for youth courts and other juvenile-justice agencies.

School-Based Service Learning (PDF) Lessons on community, problems, and action planning.

Service-Learning Network Articles, book reviews, program profiles, and links. 

Free Sample Lessons from CRF's Publications: 

Unit 1 from Criminal Justice in America 

U.S. Gun Policies from Criminal Justice in America

Setting the Public from The Challenge of Governance 

Draw Your Community (Teacher's Handbook) from Active Citizenship Today 

Fighting Crime in the Old West from CityYouth: U.S. History 

Promise and Problems of the Nile
from CityYouth: Ancient History  

Police and the Use of Force
from Youth and Police 

Hammurabi's Treasures: The Empire Builders from Of Codes & Crown: The Development of Law, 3rd Ed. 

The Rise of Common Law from Of Democrats & Dictators 

Texas v. Johnson (Flag Burning) from Landmarks: Historic U.S. Supreme Court Decisions 

The Civil Rights Movement from The Challenge of Diversity 

Declaration of Independence
from Project History 

John Marshall and the Bank Case (McCulloch v. Maryland) (7,2:90) from Landmarks: Historic U.S. Supreme Court Decisions