Annenberg Classroom

Annenberg Classroom, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, provides a comprehensive multimedia Constitution curriculum for middle and high school students. Curriculum resources include more than 60 documentaries on landmark Supreme Court cases and conversations with Supreme Court justices; standards-aligned lesson plans; a Guide to the Constitution: What It Says, What It Means; critical thinking lesson plans; and timelines tied the Constitution’s articles and amendments.

Featured Resources

Making Our Fourth Amendment Right Real

This lesson plan is based on the Annenberg Classroom video “Search and Seizure: Mapp v. Ohio,” which explores the landmark search-and-seizure case that makes state governments also responsible for protecting our Fourth Amendment right. With the exclusionary rule, this right becomes real for all of us.

Your Right to Remain Silent: Miranda v. Arizona

In 1966, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Miranda v. Arizona dramatically changed criminal procedures. The Court linked the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination to the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of a right to counsel and applied both to protect a suspect’s rights from arrest through trial. This lesson plan is based on the Annenberg Classroom video “The Right to Remain Silent: Miranda v. Arizona.”

Our Heritage of Liberty: The Bill of Rights

This lesson is based on a two-part Annenberg Classroom video – The Story of the Bill of Rights and the Ten Amendments – about one of the toughest political fights in American history and the outcome that became a symbol of liberty and freedom in America: The Bill of Rights.

Rights at Risk in Wartime

The terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, stunned the nation. As commander-in-chief, President George W. Bush responded quickly but soon all three branches of government would be embroiled in the struggle to balance national security with the protection of individual liberties amid a war on terror. This lesson plan is based on the Annenberg Classroom video “Habeas Corpus: The Guantanamo Cases.” The four cases are examples of how the Supreme Court, the president and Congress fought to balance national security and civil liberties during the war on terror. At the heart of each case was the constitutional right of habeas corpus, the right to have one’s detention or imprisonment reviewed in court.

Defenders of Liberty: The People and the Press

This lesson plan is based on the Annenberg Classroom video “Freedom of the Press: New York Times v. U.S.,” which explores the First Amendment’s protection of a free press as well as the historic origins of this right and the ramifications of the landmark ruling in the Pentagon Papers case in which the Supreme Court ruled that prior restraint is unconstitutional.

Freedom of the Press: New York Times v. United States

This documentary examines the First Amendment’s protection of a free press as well as the historic origins of this right and the ramifications of the landmark ruling in New York Times v. United States in which the Supreme Court that prior restraint is unconstitutional. The federal government could not prevent newspapers from publishing the Pentagon Papers. A lesson plan, Defenders of Liberty: The People and the Press, accompanies the video.

The Second Amendment

Why do we have a right to bear arms? How has that right changed? This video lecture is part of an online course called “Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases,” taught by University of Pennsylvania law professor Kermit Roosevelt III. The course explores the questions: Where does the Constitution come from? How has it changed over the years? How do we know what it means?

Equal Protection: What Is Discrimination?

What is the purpose of the equal protection clause? What did Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education say? What are two ways of understanding the clause? This video lecture is part of an online course taught by University of Pennsylvania law professor Kermit Roosevelt III. “Introduction to Key Constitutional Concepts and Supreme Court Cases” covers the topics: Where does the Constitution come from? How has it changed over the years? How do we know what it means?

The Right to Remain Silent: Miranda v. Arizona

This documentary explores the landmark Supreme Court decision Miranda v. Arizona that said criminal suspects, at the time of their arrest but before any interrogation, must be told of their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and Sixth Amendment right to an attorney. The decision led to the familiar Miranda warning that begins “You have the right to remain silent…”

Our Constitution: A Conversation

Justices Sandra Day O’Connor and Stephen G. Breyer talk to high school students about why we need a written Constitution and what it says about the U.S. Supreme Court and its rulings.

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