Lesson 2: The Federalist Defense of Diversity and “Extending the Sphere”

This lesson involves a detailed analysis of Alexander Hamilton’s and James Madison’s arguments in favor of the extended republic in The Federalist Nos. 9, 10 and 51. Students consider and understand in greater depth the problem of faction in a free republic and the difficulty of establishing a government that has enough power to fulfill its responsibilities, but which will not abuse that power and infringe on liberties of citizens.

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources
  • Subject: Foundations of Democracy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Constitutional Index – Citizen-State Diversity Jurisdiction Clause

The Constitutional Index breaks down the U.S. Constitution by Section, Amendment, and Clause and contains broader topics and themes. These are used to cross-reference Library resources in an effort to annotate constitutional history.

  • Resource Type: Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

U.S. Courts: Women’s History Month

The federal courts observe Women’s History Month by celebrating women’s education and accomplishments. Find inspiring profiles of women who made federal court history and inspired others to succeed and watch first-person videos of contemporary women who serve on the federal bench today.

  • Resource Type: Oral Histories, Video
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Constitution Day Across the Country

Various free, downloadable lessons across grades K through 12 to facilitate providing educational programs on Constitution Day. These interactive lessons teach about the development and evolution of the U.S. Constitution. Students are able to express themselves through discussion and debates while engaging in various activities.

  • Resource Type: Audio, Lesson Plans
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Defining Marriage

This unit gives an overview of the legal history of marriage in the United States. It presents some of the privileges, benefits, and obligations that go along with getting married. It explains the current controversy about same-sex marriage. And it provides a model for discussion, called “structured academic controversy,” for exploring the facts, arguments, and options surrounding these issues.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Disproportionate Minority Contact

Disproportionate minority contact (DMC) raises difficult issues for the American criminal justice system. It threatens victim cooperation with police and prosecutors, the participation of minority jurors, and the validity of judicial decisions among members of minority and majority communities alike. Most fundamentally, it challenges the basic American assumption that everyone receives “equal justice under law.” This unit highlights two different aspects of disproportionate minority contact.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Illinois Youth Summit Curriculum – 2008

E Pluribus Unum is designed to help students explore, discuss, and take a position on the Illinois Youth Summit issues. The curriculum features models for deliberating issues. It introduces public policy–-how government responds to problems and gets things done—and offers ways for you to assess a policy’s effect and effectiveness.

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

The American Jury: Is Twelve an Important Number?

The objective of this module is to: Involve students in an interdisciplinary lesson in which they determine statistical probability of minority placement on a jury of twelve as opposed to a jury of six. Draw the issue of jury size to student awareness. Students will evaluate the impact of reduced jury size. Students will speculate/form reasoned judgments upon the impact to justice.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Migration: In our democracy, should legal foreign workers have the same labor rights as citizens?

This lesson provides students with background information and arguments for and against providing legal foreign workers with the same labor rights as citizens. Students are encouraged to deliberate the issue and come to their own conclusions based on evidence and reason.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Rights and Responsibilities
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12