Does the First Amendment Allow Restrictions On Hate? (HS)
Students read an article outlining trends in hate crimes, Supreme Court decisions on laws established to challenge these crimes, and current federal legislation on the issue. Students then role play a legislative session on a proposed hate crime law.
What Caused the Great Depression and Why Did Recovery Take So Long? (HS)
Students read an article describing the causes of the Great Depression and Roosevelt’s recovery efforts. Students then imagine that they are advisors to the new President Roosevelt and develop a policy plan they think he should adopt.
John Peter Zenger and Freedom of the Press(HS) Activity Handout A Sources
First, students participate in a quick primary source document activity. Next, students read an article about the Zenger, a colonial freedom of the press case and how that case influenced later court decisions, including New York Times v. Sullivan. Students then participate in a role play activity as they become partners in a law firm and determine how they will handle several hypothetical libel cases.
Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau on Government (HS)
This study of Enlightenment philosophers Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, and Rousseau is designed to give students an understanding of the ideas of these philosophers and is also an opportunity for them to reflect on humanity’s need for order and efforts to create stability within the social community.
Incarcerated America (10th Grade) Lesson Presentation
In this lesson students will learn about various punishments – with a special focus on prisons and prison reform – for convicted persons in the United States. ThroughaPower Point, class discussion, and a group reading activity, students will explore the various benefits and societal consequences of America’s prison system. Students will further explore possible prison legislation by participating in a General Assembly simulation to determine how North Carolina should deal with prisons during a budget crisis.
Choice, Conflict, and Compromise at the County Level(10th Grade)
Clover County, NC has received a $6 million federal grant for community improvement. But now, the County Commissioners must determine how to allocate these funds given all of the important issuesfacingtheircounty. Before making a financial determination, the Commissioners are holding a public hearing where various special interest groups will advocate for how they believe the funds should be allocated. In this lesson, students will simulate the meeting of the Clover County Commissioners, gaining an active understanding of the importance of local government. Students will then examine youth voter apathy at the local level and brainstorm ideas on how to get young people engaged in voting.
City Council Simulation: Dogwood City’s Proposed Curfew Ordinance(10th Grade)
In this experiential activity, students will gain an understanding of the role of city councils, the responsibilities of council members, and the relevance of council decisions to individual citizens. Assuming the roles of city council members or special interest groups, students will participate in a city council simulation in which council members must decide whether to pass a curfew ordinance for the city’s young residents.
City Government Services, Departments, and Funding(10th Grade)
In this lesson, students will identify servicesprovidedbylocal city government and determine which government departments are responsible for various services. They will then assume the roles of city council members and prioritize various government services, allocating mock resources accordingly. Finally, students will discuss the importance of being active citizens and participating in their local governments.
PowerPoint Lessons with Moot Court Activities (HS)
Each of the lessons below provides PowerPoints and a moot court activity. First, teachers use a PowerPoint that provides background on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights with a focus on free expression, due process, or equal protection.Next the teacher uses another PowerPoint to set up a moot court activity where students take the roles of justices and attorneys to “argue” a U.S. Supreme Court case. The PowerPoint then provides a debrief of how the real case was decided.
Download: Simple Steps to Conduct a Moot Court Activity
Free Expression: Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (MS/HS) Background Activity Teacher's Guide and Student Handout
Due Process: California v. Greenwood (MS/HS) Background Activity Extended Reading Teacher's Guide and Student Handout
Equal Protection: Gratz v. Bollinger (HS) Background Activity Teacher's Guide and Students Handout
Equal Protection: Chicago v. Morales (HS) Background/Activity Teacher's Guide and Student Handout