Lesson Plan


America’s past has been colored by characters of all types. The Bill of Rights Institute’s American Portraits Series takes a look at 139 of these characters and asks questions that are central to understanding their lives and actions. Each narrative is connected to a virtue, prompting students to explore the character of the primary actors of the stories. For a list of the virtues, check out our “Definitions of Virtue” page. For a text list of all lessons, view our “Narrative List” page. In studying these narratives, students will learn more about the past and, perhaps more importantly, more about themselves.


  • Social Studies > United States History
  • Social Studies > Civics

Education Levels:

  • Grade 9
  • Grade 10
  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12


American Revolution Civil Rights Civil War Citizenship Commerce Declaration of Independence Equality Founders Freedom of Assembly Freedom of the Press Justice Liberty Media Personal Liberty President Religious Freedom Segregation Slavery Supreme Court Voting



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