Responding to questions from Senator Jon Ossoff (D-GA), Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson discusses the Fourth Amendment’s provisions for privacy and for unreasonable searches and seizures during her confirmation hearing to be a Supreme Court justice.
The Constitution and First Amendment Webinar Series
This four-part webinar series for teachers examines the delicate balance between the rights of individuals and the need to govern society and keep it safe. These professional learning workshops, brought to you through a partnership between the F.M. Kirby Foundation and The Rendell Center for Civics and Civic Engagement, enable teachers to gain content knowledge on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as learn methods to successfully teach their students on these areas in a meaningful way.
First Amendment Lessons
These classroom lessons and Read Alouds on the First Amendment entitled Exercising Our First Amendment Rights offer book titles appropriate for all primary, elementary, and middle school students. These lessons encourage discussions that build basic civic knowledge, promote civic engagement, and provide practice in democratic deliberation. Themes covered include going on strike, organizing a peaceful sit-n, using symbolic speech, and writing a petition.
Contrasting U.S. Founding Principles & Totalitarianism
Why are the founding principles essential for a free society? This civics and government lesson plan was developed to facilitate instruction and discussion concerning the United States’ founding principles versus totalitarian systems of government. Students will contrast a totalitarian system of government with the founding principles of the United States as established in the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.
9/11 and Civil Liberties
This lesson explores the challenges the United States faced as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and examines the government’s response through the lens of protection and civil liberties. Students will consider the long-term effects of the emergency measures, their consequences and constitutionality, and how they might inform the balance between security and liberty today.
Second Amendment: D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago
The film “Second Amendment: D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago” examines the history of guns and gun ownership in our society from the Revolutionary War to modern times and the complicated debate over what the founders intended when they wrote the Second Amendment. Does it protect a right of individuals to keep and bear arms? Or is it a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard?
Deliberation Materials: Gun Licensing
Should the federal government require licenses for gun owners and purchasers? This activity includes a deliberation reading and glossary, as well as accompanying handouts to give students additional information on the topic and to guide them through the deliberation process from planning to reflection. Deliberation teaches people how to discuss controversial issues by carefully considering multiple perspectives and searching for consensus. In preparation for deliberations, all participants read common, balanced background information on the issue. During the discourse, they offer arguments for each position on a contested public issue, first drawing from the text and then bringing in their own experiences.
Right to Privacy: New Jersey v. T.L.O. Podcast
Today we travel to the spring of 1980, where the presidential campaigns of Reagan and Carter take a back seat to an act of disobedience committed by a 14-year-old girl in Piscataway, New Jersey. The highest court in the land has to decide, how are your 4th Amendment protections different when you happen to be a student? This episode features the voices of Professor Tracey Maclin from Boston University School of Law and Professor Sarah Seo from Columbia Law School. This episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening.
Founding Documents: The Bill of Rights Podcast
The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to our Constitution. Why do we have one? What does it “do”? And what does it really, really do? Our guests are Linda Monk, Alvin Tillery, David O. Stewart, Woody Holton, David Bobb, and Chuck Taft.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.
Fourth Amendment: Search and Seizure
Most Americans are unaware about when and where Fourth Amendment rights are at issue. This lesson will allow students to examine the text and interpretations of the Fourth Amendment to describe key terms and ideas like searches, seizures, and privacy, as well as define some of the key debates about where the Fourth Amendment is headed in an age of technology.