In this lesson, students explore the scope and limits of the establishment clause of the First Amendment. First, students read and discuss an article on the constitutional issue of student-led prayer at public school events. Next, they role-play Supreme Court justices and attorneys deciding this issue. Finally, in a whole-class discussion, they debrief their own findings and compare them with those of the Supreme Court in the case of Santa Fe Independent School District v. Jane Doe et al.
In this lesson, students will learn about how the U.S. Constitution defined relations between the United States and Native nations; important events in the history of American Indians’ sovereignty in the United States; and the 2020 landmark Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma in which the Court affirmed the federal government’s responsibility to honor treaty obligations.
Two great abolitionists, Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, once allies, split over the Constitution. Garrison believed it was a pro-slavery document from its inception. Douglass strongly disagreed. This provides writing prompts and a group activity on debating who had the stronger argument.
Ida Tarbell helped to pioneer investigative journalism when she wrote a series of magazine articles about John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Trust. She and other journalists, who were called “muckrakers,” aided Progressive Movement reform efforts. But Tarbell had another side to her career. This lesson provides writing prompts and a group activity on Tarbell.
Nicknamed the “Moses of the Her People” for leading runaway slaves to freedom in the North, Harriet Tubman was the most famous member of the Underground Railroad. She became a celebrity in her lifetime and a hero of the Civil War. This lesson provides writing prompts and an activity on leadership.
This lesson looks at Bush v. Gore, the U.S. Supreme Court case that decided the 2000 election. First, students read about and discuss the Supreme Court case of Bush v. Gore. Then in small groups, students role play Supreme Court justices and apply Bush v. Gore to hypothetical election cases.
In 1804, the 12th Amendment was passed to require separate balloting for president and vice president. In spite of the 12th Amendment, deadlocks can occur. Such was the case in the election of 1824, and the House of Representatives once again was forced to choose.
George Washington won the first two U.S. presidential elections without being challenged. When he decided not to run for a third term in 1796, intense rivalries, political disputes, and attempted manipulations of the Electoral College came into play. These factors would again affect the 1800 election, essentially a rematch of 1796, pitting a sitting president, John Adams, against his own vice president, Thomas Jefferson.
In this lesson, students learn about how state and local governments have passed various resolutions or made declarations that racism is a public health crisis — made even more urgent by the coronavirus pandemic. Then, students discuss and prioritize policy proposals to address the crisis.
The Constitutional Rights Foundation has created three classroom activities to help you and your students discuss abiding questions about the events of January 6 and the meaning of those events while encouraging thinking about the future of American democracy — and how to strengthen it. Students discuss hopes for the future, multiple perspectives on partisanship, and different headlines from the day after the assault on the Capitol.