Roberta Kaplan talks about her experience arguing against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) before the U.S. Supreme Court. Kaplan’s client in the DOMA case was Edith Windsor, who sued the federal government for failing to recognize her marriage to another woman.
Freedom of Assembly: The Right to Protest
This lesson will focus on freedom of assembly, as found in the First Amendment. Students will consider the importance of the right to assemble and protest by analyzing cases where First Amendment rights were in question. Using the case National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, students will consider if the government is ever allowed to control the ability to express ideas in public because viewpoints are controversial, offensive, or painful. Students will use primary sources and Supreme Court cases to consider whether the courts made the correct decision in the National Socialist Party v. Skokie case. Students will be able to form an opinion on the essential question: Is the government ever justified to restrict the freedom to assemble?
‘It’s An American Thing!’
Looking for ice breakers for classroom starters? Can 30 seconds make a difference in your classroom? Constituting America’s Best High School PSA by Dakare Chatman, “It’s an American Thing!” creates thought, excitement and a challenge for your students. You need a method to begin class? Look no further.
Bill of Rights in Action: The Kennewick Controversies
This case study asks students to delve in to the complicated issues surrounding repatriation and ownership of ancient human remains.
Iroquois Council: Choosing Sides
In this simulation, elementary or middle school students convene as an Iroquois council in upstate New York, 1777. British agents are trying to convince Iroquois nations to take their side in the Revolutionary War.
Civic Education and Election Resources
It’s election season in the United States and a good time for students to understand why local and national politics matter and the core principles on how our democracy and elections works. What is gerrymandering? How can we strengthen our democracy? Plan how to answer questions like these as Election Day draws closer. Use these free K-12 civic education lessons, activities, blogs and webinars to help you educate students on the election and the importance of counting every vote. Additional topics include fostering civil discourse, fighting fake news, voting rights and debate ideas to keep your students informed and engaged.
Redistricting & Gerrymandering Lesson Plan
In this lesson, students will learn how state legislatures and governors can manipulate the redistricting process to gain an advantage for their party in the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures. Students will learn what constitutes gerrymandering and the typical types of gerrymandering used. Students will role play state legislators and collaborate to draw both gerrymandered and not gerrymandered districts. Students will consider the foundational redistricting case Baker v. Carr (1962) and classify arguments made in the case. In addition, students will evaluate the proper role of the Supreme Court in state redistricting cases.
Take a Stand Resource Bundle and Video
In the “Take a Stand” activity, students engage in critical thinking and conversation around contested public issue statements. Instructors choose a public issue statement and students take a stand along the continuum based on their claim about the issue.
Deliberation Resource Bundle and Video
Deliberations allow teachers to help students cooperatively discuss contested political issues by carefully considering multiple perspectives and searching for consensus. Deliberations help students develop a deeper understanding of issues, engage in critical thinking, make decisions based on evidence and logic, respect others’ points of view, and identify multiple perspectives associated with the Deliberation topic.
Deliberation Materials: Minimum Wage
Should our state or community raise the minimum wage? This activity includes a deliberation reading and glossary, as well as accompanying handouts to give students additional information on the topic and to guide them through the deliberation process from planning to reflection.