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Grades8 to 12
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2015 marked the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, one of the founding documents of modern democratic society. In recognition of this anniversary this committee collected a number of...more
2015 marked the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, one of the founding documents of modern democratic society. In recognition of this anniversary this committee collected a number of resources for celebrating and understanding its significance to history. An interactive timeline highlights events prior to and following the signing of Magna Carta. Essays discuss Magna Carta's impact on modern democracy. An interactive map places events in geographic contexts. And perhaps you're planning a trip to the UK for the celebrations? Find visitors' resources and a calendar of commemorative events. Check out the resources under Schools, including biographies of those involved (including a whole section on women) in the development of the document. There are lesson plans aligned with the UK's school system, and a quick Q&A overview of the importance of Magna Carta today. Don't miss the YouTube video explaining the work of Britain's Parliament in just over 60 seconds. If your district blocks YouTube, then this video (and others) may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
In the ClassroomNo study of modern democratic political systems is complete without an understanding of Magna Carta. On its anniversary, incorporate the interactive timeline into a discussion of the roots of the US Declaration of Independence or the post WW2 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Compare and contrast the different ways the principles that underpin Magna Carta have been transformed into democratically elected governments across the world.
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