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Promote Critical Thinking. Drive Deeper Learning. Build Background Knowledge.

Working with primary sources builds a wide range of student skills, from reading complex texts to assessing the credibility of sources to conducting research. Primary sources also:

  • help students relate in personal ways to past events
  • form connections to historical evidence, deepening their understanding of the past and our nation’s founding principles, and
  • enable them to compare current national events to our country's foundational underpinnings
government buildings and documents

Interpreting Democracy: Exploring Primary Sources

These primary source collections help students make connections through the introduction to our country's most important foundational documents along with the U.S. Supreme Court cases that interpreted them. Interpreting Democracy: Exploring Primary Sources, are student-friendly, grade-appropriate, and feature guiding questions to support rich, productive classroom discussions. Students and teachers will also appreciate that many of the cases are excerpted so learners can focus on the most important elements of the case. Each book in the Interpreting Democracy series also includes:

  • key academic terms
  • background info necessary to support core curriculum lessons and units
  • modular, non-linear design so chapters can be taught individually
  • Q&A format for introducing primary sources to help students better understand the readings

Available Titles

Interpreting Democracy: Exploring Primary Sources that built the Foundations of the United States (4-5). Elementary students are introduced to the core U.S. foundational documents: The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution - specifically the Preamble and Bill of Rights. Also included are the Articles of Government, The Emancipation Proclamation, and The Gettysburg Address.

Grade 4-5 spreading democracy_TOC 150

Interpreting Democracy: Exploring Primary Sources & Pivotal Supreme Court Cases (6-8).  Middle school students will learn about early views on rights via Letter from a Farmer in Pennsylvania, The Rights of the Colonists, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.  Supreme Court cases include Plessy v. Ferguson, Loving v. Virginia, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and more.

Grade 6-8 Spread Interpreting Democracy 150

Interpreting Democracy: Exploring Primary Sources & Pivotal Supreme Court Cases (9-12). Features more than a dozen foundational documents on the development of American political thought including: The Magna Carta, Leviathan, The Spirit of the Laws, Common Sense, Civil Disobedience, and Lyndon Johnson's Speech to Congress on Voting Rights.  Supporting Supreme Court cases include McColloch v. Maryland, Dred Scott v. Sandford, Brown v. Board of Education, Gideon v. Wainwright, Miranda v. Arizona, and more.

Grade 9-12 Spread Interpreting Democracy_125 TOC


Pricing Information

Contact us now for pricing or with questions at 800.218.5971 x6508 or k12@xanedu.com


Reader Print* Digital
4th–5th Grade $5.49 $4.95
5th–8th Grade $5.95 $5.36
9th–12th Grade $7.95 $7.16

* >1,000 units free shipping to one location
* Minimum 50 copies per title

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Download Sample Readers

Fill in the information below to download a sampling of all three books.


Questions? Contact Us

If you have questions about XanEdu products and services, please call 800.218.5971 x6508 or email k12@xanedu.com.

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