Congress and the Separation of Powers – Virtual Exhibit

Why does the U.S. Constitution separate the government into three branches? At the nation’s founding, the Constitution’s framers understood that executive, legislative, and judicial responsibilities differed, and they provided for these distinct functions. They also believed that concentrating authority in one body would result in tyranny. They therefore divided the government into legislative, executive, and judicial branches, so that no single part would become too strong, and empowered each to limit or “check” the powers of the others. This exhibit examines Congress’s unique role and the ways in which it can balance or dynamically shape and challenge the powers of two other branches.

Life Stages: Death Podcast

It’s the final episode of our Life Stages series, and it’s euphemism-free. We speak to doctors, lawyers, professors, and funeral professionals about the rules of death; pronouncing, declaring, burying, cremating, willing, trusting, canceling, donating.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.

Life Stages: Retirement Podcast

The prospect of retirement – of leaving the work force, aging, confronting a new body and a new way of life – is peppered with concepts and requirements so unwieldy they can make your brain turn off. So how do we make retirement prep easier? Shed the dread and face the future armed with a plan? Our guides to the next stage of life are Bart Astor, Tom Margenau and Cristina Martin Firvida.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.

Life Stages: Marriage Podcast

What does it really mean to be married? Divorced? What changes in the law’s eyes? What do you have to do? And, most important, how and why has the government decided who is allowed to marry whom? And while we’re at it, what does love, Pocahontas, or a credit card application have to do with any of this?
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.

Life Stages: Work Podcast

The modern-day workplace is the product of a centuries-long battle for fair wages, reasonable hours and safe conditions. This episode tells the story of the labor in the United States – from slavery and indentured servitude to the Equal Pay Act and the weekend. What did Americans workers have to go through to make their voices heard, and how did they change labor in America?
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.

Life Stages: School Podcast

As Adam Laats said, “When it comes to schools, the most important thing is who you are, and where you live.” In this episode, we explore how K-12 education has developed in the US since the 1600s, what teachers can and can’t teach, what rights students have in public school, and how the federal government gets involved. The episode features Mary Beth Tinker, Dan Cassino, Kara Lamontagne, Adam Laats and Campbell Scribner.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.

Life Stages: Birth Podcast

What does it take to be born an American citizen? And then, once you are, how do you prove it? And what does it get you? We talk to Dr. Mary Kate Hattan, Dan Cassino, Susan Pearson and Susan Vivian Mangold to find out where (American) babies come from and what that means.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.

Starter Kit: How a Bill (Really) Becomes a Law Podcast

We at Civics 101 adore Schoolhouse Rock and that sad little scrap of paper on the steps of the Capitol. But today we try to finish what they started, by diving into the messy, partisan, labyrinthine process of modern-day legislation.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.

Grades 7-12
Executive Branch/Presidency
Audio

Starter Kit: Federalism Podcast

A tug of war, a balancing act, two dancers dragging each other across the floor. This is the perpetual ebb and flow of power between the states and the federal government. How can things be legal in a state but illegal nationally? Are states obstinate barricades to federal legislation? Or are they laboratories of democracy?
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.

Starter Kit: Judicial Branch Podcast

The Supreme Court, considered by some to be the most powerful branch, had humble beginnings. How did it stop being, in the words of Alexander Hamilton, “”next to nothing?” Do politics affect the court’s decisions? And how do cases even get there?
This episode features Larry Robbins, lawyer and eighteen-time advocate in the Supreme Court, and Kathryn DePalo, professor at Florida International University and past president of the Florida Political Science Association.
This short episode includes a one-page Graphic Organizer for students to take notes on while listening, as well as discussion questions on the back side.