The Civics Alliance is delighted to add a new section to American Birthright: The Civics Alliance’s Model K-12 Social Studies Standards—the Primary Source Appendix.

American Birthright teaches students to identify the ideals, institutions, and individual examples of human liberty, individualism, religious freedom, and republican self-government; assess the extent to which civilizations have fulfilled these ideals; and describe how the evolution of these ideals in different times and places has contributed to the formation of modern America.

American Birthright’s K-12 Standards mention a large number of primary sources and other books. The vast majority are the primary sources we recommend for Grades 8 to 12. We also list Further Readings in the Introduction, as well as a series for different grade bands of Additional Reading drawn from the Civics Literacy Reading List in Florida’s B.E.S.T. Standards: English Language Arts.

“Our Primary Sources Appendix makes all our sources easily available for teachers, students, parents, and education administrators,” said David Randall, the Civics Alliance Executive Director.

Above all, the Civics Alliance wants to make our sources accessible to anyone who wants to create a primary sources reader to accompany American Birthright. We therefore provide bibliographic information for all these works, including information about how to access them online and in print.

For Grades 8 to 11, we list the primary sources in the order in which they appear in American Birthright. In Grade 12, Civics, we repeated the primary sources we recommended for different purposes, so it made more sense to list the primary sources for that year in chronological order. We list the Further Readings and the Additional Readings in alphabetical order by author’s last name.

We generally provide full versions of the texts, rather than selected readings. Some online sources only provide extracts—and, indeed, so do a few print sources. We have tried, however, to give teachers the freedom to choose readings they prefer from the original sources, rather than to make their choices for them.

We hope this Primary Sources Appendix will make American Birthright more useful for every reader. Above all, we want every state, teacher, and parent to be able to use American Birthright, easily and at once, to give America’s children a proper education in liberty.


Image: Prateek Katyal, Public Domain

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