Using clips from the Democratic National Convention (August 17-20, 2020) and the Republican National Convention (August 24-27, 2020), this lesson has students compare the speeches given at each party’s convention and develop summaries of the messaging and priorities of each party. Students will use this information to evaluate the effectiveness of each party’s message.
In this lesson, students will view video clips of the 2020 presidential candidates from the two major political parties discussing specific issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, immigration and the environment. Students will use these primary source video clips of President Trump and former Vice President Biden to summarize the candidates’ views on these issues and formulate their own opinions on the candidates.
September 17 is Constitution Day! We have created different writing prompts along with the writing space for students. These writing prompts can be used as individual assignments, at writing stations, or even for group discussions!
Three writing prompts for Constitution Day are provided for middle school and high school. The prompts can be used as a formal essay, at writing stations, or as a “discuss and write.”
Want your students to have their own Bill of Rights booklet? This booklet has the verbiage from the Bill of Rights and a space for students to be able to paraphrase what each amendment means.
This Bill of Rights Booklet is targeted for younger elementary students. Each amendment has an overview of how the amendment protects the citizens.
Civics and Citizenship explores both the rights guaranteed to Americans as well as the attendant responsibilities that come with those rights. Ultimately, the unit culminates with students writing, producing, and sharing a Public Service Announcement that defines, shows, and advocates for civic engagement. The goal of the lesson is that students actively assume the responsibilities of an engaged and thoughtful citizen.
The U.S. Constitution grants the President the power to appoint people to a variety of government positions. These appointments require careful thought and consideration since the people can have a great impact on the lives of many Americans during that President’s term. Some appointments need even greater thought and consideration, and those are to the federal judicial system and more importantly, to the Supreme Court of the United States. Justices of the Supreme Court (and other federal courts) serve lifetime appointments. Their rulings as they interpret the Constitution, and other situations as outlined in Article III of the Constitution, can have far-reaching effects for generations. With this awesome power to appoint comes an equally awesome responsibility to make sure that the individuals are the best people for the job. In this lesson, students will examine the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who was also the first female Justice. Students will examine the process by which a President makes the selection and the steps that lead to that person being confirmed by the Senate (or not).
This lesson explores the use of executive power in times of crisis in relation to both the Constitution and the legislation of the time. Using exclusive primary source material from the National Archives at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, students will explore how President Lincoln, President Reagan, and President Obama utilized their executive power against the respective threats of their time.
Utilizing primary source documents from the archives of Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, and Reagan, this piece of curriculum is modeled after the Advanced Placement Document Based Questions. This question invites students to explore U.S. Cold War foreign policy through the lens the office of the presidency, and to develop crucial critical thinking and writing skills.