College Bill of Rights eLesson

For a lot of students, college is the next step after high school. The transition to a college environment comes with new opportunities and responsibilities. Once people turn 18, they come into the full enjoyment of their rights as adults. This means that the First Amendment rights of a college freshman attending a public university are the same as the rights of any other adult.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Who Elects the President? Understanding the Electoral College

The election of 2000 marked the third time since the Civil War that the presidential candidate who won the popular vote did not win the electoral vote and therefore did not become President. Despite the discussion prompted by this controversial election, many citizens still do not fully understand how the electoral college functions. This three-part lesson helps students understand how the electoral college works and why the Founders included this structure in the Constitution.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Executive Branch/Presidency
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8

The 14th Amendment and the Evolution of Title IX

Congress and the courts have applied the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause to many aspects of public life over the past 150 years. In this activity, students will explore the evolution of the 14th Amendment through the lens of Title IX, which prohibits institutions that receive federal funding from excluding students from participating in educational and athletic programs on the basis of sex. The Supreme Court’s first Title IX case, Grove City College v. Bell, also demonstrates how each of the three branches exercises its authority.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 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

The Major Debates at the Constitutional Convention

How the Articles of Confederation failed and delegates met to create a new constitution. The major debates were over representation in Congress, the powers of the president, how to elect the president (Electoral College), slave trade, and a bill of rights. Jefferson, Madison, Franklin, Washington.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Deliberation Materials: Immigration

Should the U.S. government make it easier for unauthorized immigrants who came to this country as children to pay for college? This activity includes a deliberation reading and glossary, as well as accompanying handouts to give students additional information on the topic and to guide them through the deliberation process from planning to reflection. 

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Voting and the Constitution

Students will learn about the Constitution’s many provisions for voting, including how votes affect the makeup of the government and its branches. The lesson and lesson extensions will have students engage in activities and participate in discussions about how officials are chosen in the three branches of government and how the election process includes the Electoral College.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8

Decoding Elections: Getting Counted

Throughout U.S. history, Americans have silently stewed and actively protested that presidential elections are unfair and fixed against them. Do they have a point? In this lesson, students will understand why people are critical of the political process. They will discuss the topic: Do all voters have an equal voice in American democracy? Registration at NewseumED is required to view this resource.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Open Captions, Photography, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Voting, Elections, Politics
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10