Structures, Powers, and Functions of Congress

In this lesson from the Khan Academy, teachers can assign the materials in this lesson as homework or use them to create stations in their classroom in which students can understand how the House of Representatives and Senate differ in their structures, powers, rules, and functions. After students have gone through the lesson, teachers can assign one of two practice exercises to assess how much they understood from their lesson.

For more resources from the Khan Academy, go here.

The Appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor

The U.S. Constitution grants the President the power to appoint people to a variety of government positions. These appointments require careful thought and consideration since the people can have a great impact on the lives of many Americans during that President’s term. Some appointments need even greater thought and consideration, and those are to the federal judicial system and more importantly, to the Supreme Court of the United States. Justices of the Supreme Court (and other federal courts) serve lifetime appointments. Their rulings as they interpret the Constitution, and other situations as outlined in Article III of the Constitution, can have far-reaching effects for generations. The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute provides this lesson in which students will examine the appointment of Sandra Day O’Connor, who was the first female justice on the Supreme Court. Students will examine the process by which a President makes the selection and the steps that lead to that person being confirmed by the Senate (or not).

For more resources from the Reagan Foundation and Institute, go here.

Court Shorts: Separation of Powers

In a five-minute video from the U.S. Courts, federal judges offer insights into their thinking about the separation of powers and describe how healthy tensions among the branches have a stabilizing effect on democracy. The judges also share their respect for and commitment to this founding principle, which has an impact on everyday American life.

For more videos from the U.S. Courts, go here.

  • C-SPAN Classroom: 2022 StudentCam Competition is open. Learn more
  • Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate: Reservations accepted for in-person or virtual field trips in the fall. Learn more.
  • James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation: 2022 applications for $24,000 James Madison Graduate Fellowships are available. Learn more.
  • National Constitution Center: 2021-22 class schedule is available. Learn more.
  • National Constitution Center: Free, online teacher workshops available. Learn more.
  • National History Day: Sign up for two events for the Next Generation Angels Awards, run by the Better Angels Society in partnership with NHD. Middle and high school film winners are featured. Learn more.
  • Street Law: Classroom guides for mock trial and moot court have been revised. Learn more.
  • Street Law: Seeks two school districts to pilot rule of law curriculum. Learn more.