Civil Conversation: Immigration Enforcement Raids

Controversial legal and policy issues, as they are discussed in the public arena, often lead to polarization, not understanding. This Civil Conversation activity offers an alternative. In this structured discussion method, under the guidance of a facilitator, participants are encouraged to engage intellectually with challenging materials, gain insight about their own point of view, and strive for a shared understanding of issues. This lesson plan addresses the debate over the policies of the federal agency – Immigration and Customs Enforcement – that investigates and enforces the nation’s immigration laws.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 10, 11, 12

Believe It or Not?

This unit introduces students to the purpose and practice of media literacy. It includes pre- and post-visit activities designed to bracket the Believe It or Not? ED Class ( The activities also can be done independent of a visit to the Newseum.) Students will come to understand why not all information is trustworthy and how to differentiate the good from the bad. They practice using a set of tools – the consumer’s questions – to deconstruct and evaluate information sources.

  • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Choose the News

This unit guides students as they explore how the news is chosen, becoming more informed and critical news consumers as they deepen their understanding of the process by which the free press operates.

  • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

From Provocative to Productive: Teaching Controversial Topics

Get first steps for creating a respectful yet vibrant environment for students to explore diverse ideas on controversial topics, from politics to profanity, religion to racism. Four guidelines and a debate leader checklist provide a foundation for those seeking to steer productive conversations about controversial subjects.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Should Our State Require Photo ID for In-Person Voting?

The right to vote is a fundamental right, protected by the U.S. Constitution. But there are limits to this right, and states can establish reasonable restrictions on time, place, and manner of voting. This deliberation lesson sets up the question of whether states should require a photo ID to vote at the polls.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Deliberation Lessons

This teaching module includes Deliberation Procedures: A Guide to Deliberation in the Classroom; Topics and Deliberation Questions; and Handouts 1-3. A brief lesson plan called 3D’s: Debate, Discussion and Deliberation outlines an activity using a simple visual chart to explain the differences between debate, discussion and deliberation. This resource is a joint initiative of Street Law, the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Translated Materials
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Nomination of Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court

Are you teaching about President Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court? Lead your students through an exploration of the process and have them take on a role as adviser to a senator in preparation for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing.

  • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Deliberation Materials: “Sanctuary Cities”

Classroom deliberation materials provide classroom-ready readings presenting the issue background and arguments on both sides. These materials focus on the issue of “sanctuary cities.” Should cities or counties be able to declare themselves “sanctuaries” and refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests?

  • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12