Local Politics: The Need for Compromise

This lesson examines the process of local decision making and its need for citizen input and compromise. Students simulate a local city/county council session and advise the council on public policy. Students are asked to consider the viewpoints of different citizen groups in order to reach a compromise that will benefit the entire community. This lesson can be used with a unit on local politics and can be adapted to reflect issues of compromise in your school or community.

  • Resource Type: Simulation
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Arizona Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (2015)

Did Proposition 106 violate the Elections Clause of the US Constitution by removing congressional districting power from the state legislature? The case summary provides the facts, and the Supreme Court’s answer to this question.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Counties Work

In Counties Work, students learn about local government by playing a county official responding to citizen requests. They must keep citizens happy and manage county resources responsibly. Are citizens making sensible requests? Which department of local government has the solution? Do taxes need to be raised or lowered to keep a balanced budget? How will citizens react—and what’s the best action when crisis strikes? Challenges come from all directions in this fast-paced game!

  • Resource Type: Games
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 6, 7, 8, 9

Deliberation Materials: “Sanctuary Cities”

Classroom deliberation materials provide classroom-ready readings presenting the issue background and arguments on both sides. These materials focus on the issue of “sanctuary cities.” Should cities or counties be able to declare themselves “sanctuaries” and refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests?

  • Resource Type: Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Labor Day Lesson Plans & Resources

Share My Lesson has curated a collection of free lesson plans, activities, and resources to help teachers explore labor history with their K-12 students. Students will learn about the meaning of Labor Day, labor history, how Labor Day got its name, how labor unions work, and how labor unions have impacted the course of history.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Media, Modules (Teaching Unit), Oral Histories
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

James Madison Lesson 3: Raising an Army: Balancing the Power of the States and the Federal Government

Not everyone in the U.S. supported the War of 1812. What events during Madison’s presidency raised constitutional questions? What were the constitutional issues? Where did Madison stand?

  • Resource Type: Essays, Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit), Quizzes, Research (Digests of Primary Sources)
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Introducing Policy Analysis

Students examine case studies of real-life problems and issues being addressed through public policy and evaluate whether or not policies are effective. Students learn about the specific roles that public policy plays in addressing social problems and issues.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Policymaking in the Three Branches of Government

This lesson introduces students to executive, legislative, and judicial policymaking and to policy evaluation. First, students discuss how policy can be made by each of the branches. Then they read about and discuss how the Chicago City Council passed a controversial ordinance to suppress gang activity and how each branch of government was involved in the policy. Finally, students are introduced to a policy-analysis rubric. Lesson 5 in Civic Action Project.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 9, 10, 11, 12

Arizona v. United States

Students will examine a controversial law passed in the state of Arizona that directs law enforcement officers to investigate suspected unauthorized immigration. They will recognize the constitutional issues of preemption, reasonable suspicion, and equal protection and relate them to the facts of the Arizona law. Students will then judge whether several sets of facts are valid examples of reasonable suspicion.

  • Resource Type: Lesson Plans, Modules (Teaching Unit)
  • Subject: State/Local Government
  • Grades: 10, 11