(Day 10)

Field Study (Tour of Capitol and LOC)

In cooperative pairs, SWBAT

  • complete the My Capitol Student Self Guide Tour packet
  • make visual and written observations about the contributions of African and African Americas to the building, extension and maintenance of the Capitol


Link to Common Core Standards for History/Social Studies (Grades 6-8)

  • RH.6-8.1.
  • RH.6-8.2.
  • RH.6-8.4.
  • RH.6-8.5.
  • RH.6-8.6.
  • RH.6-8.7.
  • RH.6-8.8.
  • RH.6-8.9.

Link to Common Core Standards for Writing (Grades 6-8)

  • WHST.6-8.1.
  • WHST.6-8.2.
  • WHST.6-8.4.
  • WHST.6-8.5.
  • WHST.6-8.7.
  • WHST.6-8.8.
  • WHST.6-8.9.

National Standards

Grades K-12
Standard: Civic Ideals and Practices

  • Understanding basic freedoms, rights, and the institutions and practices that support shared democratic principles as the foundations of a democratic republic.
  • Civic ideals developed over centuries. In some instances, civic practices and their consequences are becoming more congruent with ideals, while in other cases the gap is wide and calls for continued civic action by individuals and groups to sustain and improve the society. Learning how to apply informed civic action to more fully realize civic ideals is of major importance for the health of individuals, groups, the nation, and the world.

Middle and High School (5-12)
Era 3: Revolution and the New Nation (1754-1820s)

  • Standard 3: The institutions and practices of government created during the Revolution and how they were revised between 1787 and 1815 to create the foundation of the American political system based on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.



The Capitol is open to school groups for guided tours only. Tours are conducted from 8:50 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (The Capitol is not available for tours on Sundays.) To reserve your guided tour,  click here to use the online reservation system.

You may want to include additional time in your schedule to view the House and Senate Chamber galleries and to visit your Representative and Senators’ offices. The gallery of the Senate Chamber is open to visitors when the Senate is in session and during scheduled recesses of one week or more from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The House of Representatives Chamber gallery is open to visitors when the House is in session and additionally 9 a.m. – 4:15 p.m., Monday through Friday when the House is not in session. Gallery passes may be obtained from the offices of your Senators or Representative. Visit their web sites at www.senate.gov or at www.house.gov for further information.

No passes or reservations are required to visit the Capitol Visitor Center itself, including the Exhibition Hall, the Gifts Shops and the Restaurant. (A pass is required to view the orientation film and to participate in a tour of the historic Capitol).

Plan to spend at least two hours viewing the 13-minute orientation film, touring the Capitol, and exploring the Exhibition Hall.

Where can we eat?

The Capitol Visitor Center Restaurant is open 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Box lunches are available for school groups. For details and to reserve lunches, contact our restaurant facility through our main number, 202.226.8000.

What should we wear?

The Capitol is a working office building. Therefore, you are expected to dress appropriately for a business environment and behave in a respectful manner. We recommend that you wear comfortable shoes (you will climb many stairs as you move through the Capitol and tour the grounds). During the spring and summer months, you may want to bring a hat (it is very sunny and hot) as well as a foldable rain poncho for sudden rainstorms during warm weather.

What may I bring and not bring on the tour?

Please review the U.S. Capitol prohibited items list here. We strongly recommend that you download the list and review it carefully with your students and chaperones.

My Capitol Student Self Guide Answer Key

Download this file

Philip Reid and Freedom

Optional Activity for students unable to attend the Field Study

Download this file

Warm Up

Prior to visiting the Capitol, students and chaperones will view the introductory video.

New Material

Designed for young people ages 11 and older, the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center’s new student self-guide of the Visitor Center’s Exhibition Hall and the Capitol grounds includes historical background, directed-looking activities, and questions to encourage discussion during the tour or for follow-up at school or home.

Teachers may get copies of "My Capitol" for their students at the Visitor Center’s North Coat Check on the upper leve.  A copy of the guide has been provided in the section below.

My Capitol Student Self Guide

All students should receive a copy of this guide at the Capitol

Download this file


Mnay students have not had the opportunity to visit government buildings or monuments.  This field study will give students the opportunity to not only see the place they have been studying for the past two weeks, but also the opportunity to practice the appropriate etiquette for historic places.  What is more, students will practice skills and concepts related to using a building as a historical text.


In pairs, students will complete the My Capitol Student Self Guide Tour packet.

Closure and Reflection

[The closure of a lesson should directly tie the new material, student practice, instructional objectives, and assessment together. It should also connect this lesson to the previous lesson and link to the next lesson(s). In this is space you can also include your notes about how the lesson went. You should indicate what worked well, what was problematic, ideas for modifying the lesson for future use, and how this particular lesson ties in with others in the same curricular unit.]