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

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 8, 9, 10, 11
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

The Legislative Branch: How Congress Works – Module 7 of Constitution 101

The Constitution grants Congress—our nation’s legislative branch—the power to make laws. The legislative branch is outlined in Article I of the Constitution. The Constitution divides Congress into two houses—the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The House of Representatives is composed of representatives proportionate to each state’s population. At the same time, the Senate is organized under the principle of equal state representation—with each state, regardless of its population, receiving two Senators. In this module, students will examine primary and secondary sources to learn about the legislative branch’s structure, functions, and powers as granted by the Constitution and defined by the courts over time. Students will also explore the legislative process and the role that civil dialogue and political compromise play in crafting national laws.