Jury service is an example of hands-on participation in democracy. In a five-minute video, 11 federal judges talk about jury service as an opportunity for citizens to be part of the judicial process that has an impact on daily life. The video, which deals with Constitutional principles and the practicalities of jury service, is part of the Court Shorts video series that includes installments on the rule of law and separation of powers.
Participate in the Judicial Process – Rule of Law
Review the facts, rulings, majority and minority opinions, and reasoning of these two landmark Fourteenth Amendment Supreme Court cases – Batson v. Kentucky and J.E.B. v. Alabama.
The Rule of Law in Your Life
Rule of law is a principle under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws that are: publicly promulgated, equally enforced, independently adjudicated, and consistent with international human rights principles. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has created this resource to help your students understand rule of law with an overview of the topic; opening discussion questions; relevant landmark case summaries; and discussion questions to check for understanding. In a Court Shorts video, nine federal judges explain how fair and consistent adherence to the law protects our rights and well-being in everyday situations.
Free Press and SCOTUS: Incorporating Case Studies in the Classroom
This lesson will ask students to engage with landmark freedom of press case studies exploring how the Supreme Court has ruled on First Amendment issues and has tried to balance competing values in our democracy.
Government Speech Under the First Amendment
This lesson teaches students, through a simulation related to government-sponsored Confederate monuments, about the government-speech doctrine under the First Amendment. In particular, this lesson aims to (1) introduce students to the issue of government speech; (2) teach the doctrine; (3) apply the doctrine in a contemporary context; and (4) critically analyze the doctrine.
Freedom of Speech
In this lesson, students analyze a photo of Robert Kennedy speaking outside the U.S. Department of Justice on June 14, 1963, and use it to discuss freedom of speech as a constitutional right in the United States, and human rights around the world.
Get Ready for Law Day 2019
The 2019 Law Day theme – “Free Speech, Free Press, Free Society” – focuses on these cornerstones of representative government and calls on us to understand and protect these rights. Read More ⟶
Why Do People Form Governments?
This short lesson, targeting early elementary, is intended to introduce students to the concept of government and how one of the most important purposes of government is to keep us safe. Students will also be introduced to the Constitution and the three branches of government.
Anyone Home? Using Political Cartoons to Consider the Lawmaking Process
This secondary level lesson plan, developed in collaboration with the National Archives, draws on the legendary political cartoons of Clifford Berryman to consider the lawmaking process. Students analyze the cartoon and describe how it illustrates the process. It aligns with both Common Core ELA standards and C3 Framework components.
The Constitution in Action – Political Parties and Presidential Electors: The Election of 1800
History is the chronicle of choices made by actors/agents/protagonists in specific contexts. This simulation places students in the Early Republic and asks them to engage in the politics of those times. Acting as either Federalists or Republicans, they will be asked to develop strategies for electing their party’s standard bearer as president, using the Constitution’s complex system of presidential electors to their advantage.