Article III of the Constitution is short compared to the Articles for Congress and the President. In these lessons, students will explore different documents to determine what the role of the judiciary is and why it is important that it was set up to be independent. Students will explore past and present efforts to adapt
The Constitution specifies that the President appoints judges with the advice and consent of the Senate. This lesson explores how that process works. The students will be able to explain the politics and political processes of court appointments, interpret and analyze relevant charts, and hone and refine essay composition skills.
The Chief Justice has numerous responsibilities besides leading the Supreme Court. Explore the roles and responsibilities of the head of the Judicial Branch and examine the seventeen Chief Justices with a helpful infographic.
In 1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his plan to enlarge the Supreme Court to as many as 15 justices. Congress debated the merits of the plan and Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes opposed it. After 168 days the bill failed, but the lessons from the Court-packing episode are relevant today. This 15-minute documentary designed
Explore the case that marked the first time the Supreme Court ruled a state law unconstitutional. This formative decision upheld the Commerce Clause and set the precedent that the Contract Clause applied to the states. Ideas included in the decision also shaped Native American property rights for the foreseeable future.
These lesson plans for basic high school and for AP US History have been created for students who have watched the video. They include activities such as analyzing part of the text of FDR’s Court-packing Plan, interpreting political cartoons reacting to the plan, and discussing the intersection of the three branches of government.
This lesson offers your students the opportunity to dig more into the historical and contemporary status of immigration in America through examining primary source documents and engaging with multiple perspectives.
This unit on civics fosters critical thinking skills in students as they engage with topics in government, democracy, and U.S. history, providing comprehensive lesson plans that encourage deep analysis, evaluation, and reflection on the principles and dynamics of civic life.
Students will work together to analyze key points of different Supreme Court cases and apply their analysis to evaluate to what extent the Constitution merits capital punishment.
When crafting the Constitution, one of the central concerns of the Founding generation was how best to control government power. With the new Constitution, the Framers looked to strike an important balance—creating a new national government that was more powerful than the one that came before it while still protecting the American people’s most cherished liberties. They settled on a national government with defined but limited powers. Instead of placing authority in the hands of a single person (like a king), a small group of people (like an aristocracy), or even the whole people (like a direct democracy), the Framers divided power in two ways. At the national level, the Framers divided power between the three branches of government—the legislative branch, the executive branch and the judicial branch. This process of dividing power between different branches of government is called the separation of powers. From there, the Framers further divided power between the national government and the states under a system known as federalism. In this module, students will explore the key functions of the different parts of government and the role that the Constitution plays in controlling government power.