Interactions Between the Branches

Article III of the Constitution is short compared to the Articles for Congress and the President. In these lessons, students will explore different documents to determine what the role of the judiciary is and why it is important that it was set up to be independent. Students will explore past and present efforts to adapt

Lessons plans for “The Supreme Court and the 1876 Presidential Election”

These lesson plans for both basic high school and AP US History have been created for students who have watched the video. Students will analyze a map of 1876 electoral votes, a cartoon depicting a Black voter being turned away from the ballot box, an infographic about voting procedures that highlights the role of canvassing

The Supreme Court and the 1876 Presidential Election – Video

In 1876 the outcome of the presidential election between Samuel Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes was decided by a 15-member Commission, which included 5 Supreme Court Justices. Usually, the Hayes-Tilden election is taught as the event that ended Reconstruction, but this 15-minute video adds to that story. It examines the nuts of bolts of presidential

Marbury v. Madison, The Empowerment of the Judiciary – Video

Marbury v. Madison (1803) is the landmark decision that established the principle of judicial review. But the facts behind the case are complicated and often confusing to students, especially the part about original jurisdiction. This 15-minute video tells the story of Marbury in a clear and straightforward way. It uses period images—portraits and newspaper headlines—as

Grades 10, 11, 8, 9
Executive Branch/Presidency
Assessments

Lessons Plans for “Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Court-packing Controversy”

These lesson plans for basic high school and for AP US History have been created for students who have watched the video. They include activities such as analyzing part of the text of FDR’s Court-packing Plan,  interpreting political cartoons reacting to the plan, and discussing the intersection of the three branches of government. 

Economics

This unit aims to cultivate critical thinking skills in students as they explore microeconomics and macroeconomics, examining the role of government in the economy through lessons that encourage analysis, evaluation, and understanding of economic principles and government interventions.

Grades 8, 9-12
Citizenship
Lesson Plans

Landmark Supreme Court Case – New York Times v. United States (1971)

New York Times v. United States, better known as the “Pentagon Papers” case, was a decision expanding freedom of the press and limits on the government’s power to interrupt that freedom. President Richard Nixon used his executive authority to prevent the New York Times from publishing top secret documents pertaining to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. In a 6-3 decision, the Court ruled that the President’s attempt to prevent the publication was a violation of First Amendment protections for press freedom. This lesson has students explore the background of the New York Times v. United States, the arguments made during the case and its legacy.

Grades 9-12
Executive Branch/Presidency
Media

The Presidency and Executive Power – Module 8 of Constitution 101

Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the national government, headed by a single President. Article II outlines the method for electing the President, the scope of the President’s powers and duties, and the process of removing one from office. The President’s primary responsibility is to carry out the executive branch’s core function—namely, enforcing the nation’s laws. From the debates over how to structure the Presidency at the Constitutional Convention to modern debates over executive orders, this module will explore the important role of the President in our constitutional system.