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
Co-Equal Leader: The Role of the Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice has numerous responsibilities besides leading the Supreme Court. Explore the roles and responsibilities of the head of the Judicial Branch and examine the seventeen Chief Justices with a helpful infographic.
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
Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Court-packing Controversy -Video
In 1937 President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his plan to enlarge the Supreme Court to as many as 15 justices. Congress debated the merits of the plan and Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes opposed it. After 168 days the bill failed, but the lessons from the Court-packing episode are relevant today. This 15-minute documentary designed
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.
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.
Immigration: Is History Repeating Itself?
This lesson offers your students the opportunity to dig more into the historical and contemporary status of immigration in America through examining primary source documents and engaging with multiple perspectives.
Foundations of Civics and Economics
This unit on civics fosters critical thinking skills in students as they engage with topics in government, democracy, and U.S. history, providing comprehensive lesson plans that encourage deep analysis, evaluation, and reflection on the principles and dynamics of civic life.
Rule of Law and the Death Penalty
Students will work together to analyze key points of different Supreme Court cases and apply their analysis to evaluate to what extent the Constitution merits capital punishment.
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.