Equity in Public Education Funding

This lesson will explore the question of equity in funding public education for K-12 students. It will provide a historical context for public education in America: how equality of education has been understood and the ways in which states have been permitted to fund it. In addition, it will introduce the idea of public policy—what it is and how to assess its costs and benefits.

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

Public Demonstrations: Should our democracy have the power to prohibit unauthorized public demonstrations?

This lesson provides students with background information and arguments for and against allowing the government to prohibit unauthorized public demonstrations. Students are encouraged to deliberate the issue and come to their own conclusions based on evidence and reason.

  • Resource Type: ESL Appropriate, ESL Materials, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Citizenship
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Using the Media

In this lesson, students learn about the importance of the media in setting the public agenda. First, they read about and discuss how the media help set the public agenda and how citizens can influence the media and even create their own media to help change the public agenda. Then they brainstorm ideas and develop a plan to do one action using or affecting the media. Finally, they begin to implement their plan. As homework, they complete their action.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Timelines
  • Subject: Media Literacy
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Local Politics: The Need for Compromise

This lesson examines the process of local decision making and its need for citizen input and compromise. Students simulate a local city/county council session and advise the council on public policy. Students are asked to consider the viewpoints of different citizen groups in order to reach a compromise that will benefit the entire community. This lesson can be used with a unit on local politics and can be adapted to reflect issues of compromise in your school or community.

  • Resource Type: Simulation
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Surveillance

Video surveillance cameras seem to be everywhere these days . . . on highways and in schools, at street corners and even in ordinary public squares. More and more national and local governments, as well as businesses and private organizations, are using this technology. This lesson gives students the opportunity to deliberate the question, “Should our democracy require law enforcement officials to get permission from a judge to access public video surveillance records?”

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

Expanding Legalized Gambling to Fully Fund Education in Illinois

This lesson will explore whether expanding legalized gambling is a good way to fund public education for K-12 students in Illinois. In addition, it will introduce the idea of public policy—what it is and how to assess its costs and benefits.

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

Introducing Policy Analysis

Students examine case studies of real-life problems and issues being addressed through public policy and evaluate whether or not policies are effective. Students learn about the specific roles that public policy plays in addressing social problems and issues.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Pathways to the Bench

U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank, of Minnesota, is featured in the latest installment of the Pathways to the Bench video series produced by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts to inspire and inform the public about the human face of the federal judiciary. In the series, individual judges talk about the personal, character-building challenges that have prepared them to serve on the bench. In this brief video, Judge Frank says that adversity has made him a better person and a better jurist.

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

Brown v. Board of Education

May 17, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. This landmark Supreme Court decision declared that laws establishing separate public schools for black and white children were unconstitutional. To support teachers as they commemorate this important anniversary in their classes, the Share My Lesson team has selected a variety of free lesson plans, educational resources and classroom materials about equity, particularly in schools.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Primary Sources, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
  • Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Connecting the Separate Powers

In this lesson, students will gain an understanding of the separation of powers using role playing and discussion. Students will identify which parts of the Constitution provide for the branches of our government, and will categorize public officials into one of these three branches.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: Federal Government
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5