In this lesson, students will apply a general law – “no vehicles in the park” – to specific circumstances in considering the language of the law and its intended objective. The task will require that they interpret the law to allow for certain circumstances – an ambulance carrying a dying patient, for example. The lesson ends with students rewriting the law to more clearly reflect the intent of the lawmakers.
Rule of law is a principle under which all persons, institutions, and entities are accountable to laws that are: publicly promulgated, equally enforced, independently adjudicated, and consistent with international human rights principles. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has created this resource to help your students understand rule of law with an overview of the topic; opening discussion questions; relevant landmark case summaries; and discussion questions to check for understanding. In a Court Shorts video, nine federal judges explain how fair and consistent adherence to the law protects our rights and well-being in everyday situations.
Distance learning activities become civics for civic engagement when federal judges bring the rule of law, separation of powers, judicial independence, and jury service into students’ daily life. Student voice is incorporated into every activity. Teachers and students can explore the pillars of literacy: rule of law, separation of powers, and judicial independence. With the guidance of federal judges and attorney volunteers in virtual court hearings, students learn and practice civil discourse skills as the foundation of effective dispute resolution in the law and in life.
The Federal Water Pollution Control Act, commonly known as the Clean Water Act, was originally passed in 1948. By 1972, Congress had voted on an amended version of the law that included the expansion of regulations to prevent pollution of the nation’s waterways. In this lesson, students consider how the Clean Water Act of 1972 became a law. They identify key moments in the evolution of this bill including its path in Congress, its veto by President Nixon and its eventual enactment. Preparing and organizing information, students interpret these key events and share them in a storyboard presentation. While intended for 8th grade students, the lesson can be adapted for other grade levels.
A lesson plan for one 80-minute class at the AP level. In it students will identify the main steps in the process of creating and passing legislation:
-Explain the significance of party control and committee work in the Congress in the legislative process
-Identify the role that Congressional leaders such as the House of Representatives and the Senate Majority Leader play in the process of agenda-setting
-Identify the role the President plays in the law-making process
-Explain the reasons why the Founders intended the law-making process to be difficult
For this high school Socratic Seminar, students will be asked to examine various readings and videos on public health and the rule of law and then explore the question “What role does the law play in protecting our health?” Encourage students to be prepared, participate actively, use evidence, listen carefully, and ask thoughtful questions of their peers throughout the seminar. There are resources to explore several public health examples (e.g., clean water, coal dust, COVID-19) included in this seminar guide, so feel free to select one or more, and adapt to your needs.
Students learn about the concept of international humanitarian law, analyze photos, then use the chart of “Basic Rules of International Humanitarian Law” to discuss how the rules might apply to the people in each photo.
Students will have to select 25 environmental laws in American history from a much larger list. Their goal is to produce their own timeline of American environmental law history to present to the rest of the class. In doing so, they will develop critical thinking and analytic skills and articulate the importance of the Rule of Law to protecting the environment.
In 1998, when Lilly Ledbetter filed her complaint of wage discrimination against the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, her goal was to get equal pay for equal work because that was the law. She had no idea that her decision would eventually involve all three branches of government and result in a law with her name on it – the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.
This guided discussion will help students understand copyright law, especially its relevance in this technology-based era. It begins by probing students’ experiences with online media, and eliciting their understanding of copyright. The formal definition can then be presented. A hypothetical copyright conflict between the Jims Brothers and the FrontStreet Boys will illustrate the complexity of copyright law in this technological era.