Renewal of the USA PATRIOT Act (SIM Lesson Plans)

The materials in this curriculum are designed to enhance the Institute’s Senate Immersion Module (SIM) experience, but can also be used separately. The SIM program is an educational, role-playing experience, developed to engage new generations of Americans. The Institute encourages classroom preparation for the SIM, active play at the Institute, and debriefing at the end of the experience.

Grades 8, 9-12
Legislative Branch/Congress
Lesson Plans

2015: Debating the USA PATRIOT Act

You are a U.S. Senator facing an upcoming vote on whether or not to renew provisions of a law that gives the government wide-reaching powers to investigate possible terrorists and terrorism organizations. … Before voting for or against the provisions, you need to decide: To what extent should the government limit individuals’ ability to freely access and share information a decade or more after a catastrophic attack on the nation?

9/11 and Civil Liberties

This lesson explores the challenges the United States faced as a result of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and examines the government’s response through the lens of protection and civil liberties. Students will consider the long-term effects of the emergency measures, their consequences and constitutionality, and how they might inform the balance between security and liberty today.

Grades 9-12
Foundations of Democracy
Modules (Teaching Unit)