Pathfinder for Documents Shaping the United States Government

The United States Capitol

United States Declaration of Independence

    The purpose of this pathfinder is to provide quality resources that will assist students in analyzing historical documents shaping the United States Government.  The resources provided include non-fiction books, DVD’s, Videos, internet websites, associations, organizations and multimedia material. All non-fiction book resources can be obtained through the Ridley Township Public Library which is part of the Delaware County Library System in southeastern Pennsylvania. 

    The resources provided will assist students in meeting the Pennsylvania Department of Education 9th Grade Civics and Government curriculum standards. Specifically, standard 5.1.9., Principles and Documents of Government, states students will be able to "analyze the basic documents shaping the government of the United States".

Magna Carta
English Bill of Rights
Mayflower Compact
Articles of Confederation
Declaration of Independence,
Federalist Papers,
Anti-federalist writings
United States Constitution


    For the purposes of this project, this pathfinder will provide valuable resources relating to the following documents:

The Declaration of Independence
Articles of Confederation
United States Constitution

    When reviewing these documents students will be able to answer and analyze the following questions (Who, What, When, Where, and Why):

  • What were the key events leading up to the establishment of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, , and U. S. Constitution?
  • Who were the principle figures and their significance in influencing the creation of these documents?
  • When were these documents established and the time line of key events?
  • Why are these documents significant today?
  • What are the common themes, principles, values, and ideals shared within each document?
  • Where, and what is the significance of the locations in which these documents were established? 


     When listening to and/or reading these historical documents and pathfinder resources, students will be able to identify similarities and differences in document appearance, content, and historical significance; identify key historical events leading to the creation of these documents; understand the impact and relationship these documents have in shaping the United States government; identify key historical figures responsible for the creation of these documents; identify key organizations and associations, their purpose and relationship to the establishment and preservation of these documents; and students will be able to summarize and understand the value and significance of these historical documents, their principles, ideals, and values.

    The navigation toolbar on the left side of this webpage provides a link to the Ridley Township Public library/Delaware County Library System, its online catalog, Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards, and valuable multi-multimedia resources. These resources are consistent with Pennsylvania Department of Education Academic Standards and directly related to historical documents shaping the United States government.

    Please click on any of the links provided to begin accessing valuable and historical information.

Pathfinder Created by:
Bernadette Giddens
Info - 684
MLIS - Drexel University
April 2009