Search Me

The lesson begins with students lined up in the front of the room. They are presented with a series of searches/seizures. If they believe the search/seizure was lawful, they step forward; if they believe it to be unlawful, they step backward. Next, students break into four groups. Each group is responsible for focusing on searches/seizures in a specific setting: at school, at home, in cars, or in public. The groups reconvene and present their ideas and findings to the rest of the class.

The Fourth Amendment and Teens

What does the Fourth Amendment mean in the lives of teens? When they are driving? When they are using their cell phone? When they are at a house party? The Supreme Court has found that it is not a guarantee against all searches and seizures, but only those that are deemed unreasonable under law. These activities, which engage all learning styles, apply Supreme Court precedents to relatable, teen scenarios. The resources are ready for immediate use in courtrooms and classrooms

“What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”

Frederick Douglass earned wide renown as an outspoken and eloquent critic of the institution of slavery. In this speech before a sizeable audience of New York abolitionists, Douglass reminds them that the Fourth of July, though a day of celebration for white Americans, was still a day of mourning for slaves and former slaves like himself, because they were reminded of the unfulfilled promise of equal liberty for all in the Declaration of Independence.

Interactive Constitution: Fourth Amendment (High School)

This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 4th Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution.

Interactive Constitution: Fourth Amendment (Middle Level)

This lesson introduces students to different viewpoints and debates surrounding the 4th Amendment by using the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution. Students will build understanding of the resources and methods used by justices on the Supreme Court and Constitutional scholars when analyzing and forming opinions about articles, sections, and clauses of the Constitution.

Bill of Rights in the News: Searching for the Fourth Amendment

The steady march of science and technology has a way of bringing settled law into new areas, challenging what was once convention. An upcoming court case involves just such a predicament – whether or not the government can search your laptop or cell phone without a warrant at border crossings. While it’s long been accepted that the government can search people entering the country, does that also imply to email or text messages?

What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?

Students are guided through a careful reading of Frederick Douglass’ greatest speech in which he both praises the founders and their principles, yet condemns the continued existence of slavery. The Constitution is presented as a “glorious liberty document” which, if properly interpreted, is completely anti-slavery. Douglass delivered this speech on July 5, 1852 at the height of the controversy over the Fugitive Slave law. The speech is generally considered his greatest and one of the greatest speeches of the 19th century. Before you read the speech you can follow links to learn more about Douglass’s life and the evolution of his thought in this period.

Fourth of July: Grades 3-5

This lesson is designed to be used in conjunction with the National Constitution Center’s Fourth of July show, which is available as part of themed museum packages for groups and the Traveling History & Civics Program for schools.

Together, they encourage students to explore the history and meaning of the Declaration of Independence and Independence Day.