Insights on Law & Society

This magazine from the ABA Division of Public Education focuses on the Fourteenth Amendment, which celebrates its 150th anniversary in 2018. Articles include: “Will the Federal Government Enforce the Fourteenth Amendment at 150 years?” “The Only One Way to Celebrate the Fourteenth Amendment: Teach It!” Why It Is Important to Teach About the Fourteenth Amendment,” “Teaching Legal Docs: Birth Certificates.”

  • Resource Type: Essays
  • Subject: Citizenship, Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 10, 11, 12

Dialogue on the Fourteenth Amendment

The ABA Dialogue program provides lawyers, judges and teachers with the resources they need to engage students and community members in a discussion of fundamental American legal principles and civic traditions. This Dialogue on the Fourteenth Amendment is composed of three parts:
Part 1: Equal Protection and Civil Rights – Participants discuss the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and consider how Congress, through federal legislation, has worked to help realize its constitutional promise.
Part 2: Incorporating the Bill of Rights examines the concept of incorporation. Using a case study of Gitlow v. New York, this section provides a guide to how courts have applied the Bill of Rights, selectively, to the states using the 14th Amendment.
Part 3: Ensuring Equality and Liberty explores how the 14th Amendment has been interpreted by courts to protect fundamental freedoms, including individuals’ right to marry.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Timelines
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 10, 11, 12

Guns and School Safety

The Constitutional Rights Foundation provides resources to help students, teachers, administrators, and districts think about the best way forward for their communities and states. Resources include a simulation activity in which students act as state legislators trying to design the most effective policy for reduction of gun violence in their state (grades 9-12); a civil conversation in which students participate in a small-group discussion (middle school); talking points on the causes of school violence; and more.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Simulation
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

The Iran Nuclear Deal and Its Critics

In 2015, President Barack Obama’s administration struck an agreement with the government of Iran and other countries intended to limit Iran’s ability to build nuclear weapons. In May 2018, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the agreement known as the “nuclear deal” with Iran. All the nations that signed the deal, however, advised Trump not to withdraw. What will be the consequences of the U.S. withdrawal?

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

The Core Documents Collection – Documents and Debates 1865-2009

The Core Documents Collection – Documents and Debates is structured around a series of topics, each based on a question for debate. For each topic, there is a collection of documents that, together, form the basis of argument over that topic – from those who debated it at a given point in American history. Volume One covers 1865-2009.
The goal is to explore a series of critical moments in American history by asking questions for which there are not simple yes/no answers, but instead call for informed discussion and rational debate. The Documents and Debates readers also include appendices of additional documents, and together are a perfect fit for any American History survey course, including AP U.S. History.

    Core Documents Collection: Documents and Debates 1493-1865

    The Core Documents Collection – Documents and Debates is structured around a series of topics, each based on a question for debate. For each topic, there is a collection of documents that, together, form the basis of argument over that topic – from those who debated it at a given point in American history. Volume One covers 1493-1865, and Volume Two covers 1865-2009.
    The goal is to explore a series of critical moments in American history by asking questions for which there are not simple yes/no answers, but instead call for informed discussion and rational debate. The Documents and Debates readers also include appendices of additional documents, and together are a perfect fit for any American History survey course, including AP U.S. History.

    • Resource Type: Primary Sources
    • Subject: History
    • Grades: 10, 11, 12

    Civil Discourse and Difficult Decisions

    Civil Discourse and Difficult Decisions is a national initiative of the federal courts that brings high school and college students into federal courthouses for legal proceedings that stem from situations in which law-abiding young people can find themselves. These court hearings (not mock trials) are realistic simulations that showcase jury deliberations in which all students and learning styles participate, using civil discourse skills. This activity includes: Reality Check Quiz and Discussion Starter; Civil Discourse Skill Building; Courtroom Simulation; and Reality Check Discussion.

    • Resource Type: Simulation
    • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
    • Grades: 10, 11, 12

    Core Documents Collection: The Cold War

    This collection of documents on the Cold War continues TeachingAmericanHistory.org’s extended series of document collections covering major periods, themes and institutions in American history and government. The volume covers American aid to Europe in the early years of the Cold War and American intervention in subsequent years in conflicts around the world to contain the spread of Soviet power. Its documents also explore the dometic effects of the Cold War, chronicling how national security concerns affected relations between American citizens and between Americans and their government. Each volume includes:

    • Key documents on the period, theme or institution, selected by an expert and reviewed by an editorial board
    • A thematic table of contents, showing the connections between various documents
    • Study questions for each document as well as questions that refer to other documents in the collection
    • Notes on each document to identify people, events, movements, or ideas to improve understanding of the document’s historical context
    • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources
    • Subject: History
    • Grades: 10, 11, 12

    Foundations of Democracy

    This collection gives teachers access to foundational principles of democracies including rule of law, limited government and checks and balances. It can be used to build background knowledge to analyze the┬áhealth of our democracy over time and in today’s environment.

    Essential Questions include:

    • What systems attempt to limit government power?
    • Where does the government gain its authority in a democracy?
    • What is the rule of law and how does it play out in democracies?
    • What are ways of measuring the health of a democracy?
    • What recourses are in place to ensure the health of democracy?
    • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
    • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
    • Grades: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12