American Indian Sovereignty

In this lesson, students will learn about how the U.S. Constitution defined relations between the United States and Native nations; important events in the history of American Indians’ sovereignty in the United States; and the 2020 landmark Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma in which the Court affirmed the federal government’s responsibility to honor treaty obligations.

Second Amendment: D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago

The film “Second Amendment: D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago” examines the history of guns and gun ownership in our society from the Revolutionary War to modern times and the complicated debate over what the founders intended when they wrote the Second Amendment. Does it protect a right of individuals to keep and bear arms? Or is it a right that can be exercised only through militia organizations like the National Guard? 

Right to Privacy: Griswold v. Connecticut

Despite the fact that they were written in the late 19th century, morality laws were still on the books in the United States in 1965. In Connecticut, one such law prohibited the discussion, prescription and distribution of contraception. After years of trying to get the courts to scrub this law from the books, medical providers had to find a way to get the question before the highest court in the land. It wouldn’t be easy, but in the end the case would transform our notion of privacy and the role of the Supreme Court when it comes to public law.
Renee Cramer of Drake University and Elizabeth Lane of Louisiana State are our guides.
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
Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
Audio

IRL 1: Free Speech in Schools Podcast

We’re digging into four incredibly important Supreme Court cases – four cases that have shaped how we interpret the meaning of free speech in public schools. Is political protest allowed in class? Is lewd speech covered by the First Amendment? Can school administrators determine what students can and can’t say in the school newspaper? Listen in, and find out how students and schools have gone head to head over how First Amendment rights apply in a public school setting.

Grades 7-12
Judicial Branch/Supreme Court
Audio

Declaration Revisited: Native Americans Podcast

Today is our second revisit to the document that made us a nation. Writer, activist, and Independent presidential candidate Mark Charles lays out the anti-Native American sentiments within it, the doctrines and proclamations from before 1776 that justified “discovery,” and the Supreme Court decisions that continue to cite them all.
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.

Starter Kit: Checks and Balances Podcast

We exist in a delicate balance. Ours is a system designed to counterweight itself, to stave off the power grabs that entice even the fairest of us all. The U.S. government is comprised of humans, not angels, so each branch has the power to stop the other from going to far. The only catch being, of course, they have to actually exercise that power. In this episode, with the inimitable Kim Wehle as our guide, we learn what those checks actually are, and how the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches (ostensibly) keep things democratic.
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.

Learn About Black History, Culture and Politics

Learn about Black history in the United States before and after the Civil War; the Civil Rights Movement; the history of Africa; African American art; and African American trailblazers.