Does the Constitution Protect Fair Play? Introducing Due Process

In this lesson, students will develop a working understanding of due process by discussing relevant Constitutional clauses. They are then presented with the Gideon v. Wainwright case and must decide whether Clarence Gideon had the right to an attorney, relying on their previous discussion of due process. The lesson ends with a discussion of the importance of the right to due process in criminal proceedings, as well as a discussion of other situations in which the right to due process applies.

Chavez v. Martinez (2003)

Is a suspect’s right against self-incrimination and to due process violated if he is subjected to coercive questioning while in custody, even if his statements were never used against him? This case summary shows how the Supreme Court answered that question in 2003.

Grades 9-12
Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
Lesson Plans

Twelve Angry Men: Trial by Jury as a Right and as a Political Institution

Twelve Angry Men, originally written for television by Reginald Rose in 1954 and subsequently adapted for stage (1955), film(1957) and television again (1997), effectively conveys the central importance of the right to a jury trial afforded by Article III of the Constitution as well as Amendments V, VI, and XIV.

Scottsboro Boys and To Kill a Mockingbird: Two Trials for the Classroom

In this lesson, students will perform a comparative close reading of select informational texts from the Scottsboro Boys trials alongside sections from To Kill a Mockingbird. Students analyze the two trials and the characters and arguments involved in them to see how fictional “truth” both mirrors and departs from the factual experience that inspired it.