Rights, First & Second Amendment, Privacy and Property Rights, Crime and Punishment
The Creation of the Bill of Rights: "Retouching the Canvas" (Grades 9-12)
This lesson will focus on the arguments either for or against the addition of a Bill of Rights between 1787 and 1789.
Certain Crimes Against the United States: The Sedition Act (Grades 9-12)
As the end of the 18th century drew near, relations between the United States and France were deteriorating. In 1797 President Adams expressed his concern about the possibility of war with France and dissension at home caused by France and its supporters. At the same time, two opposing political parties were developing in the U.S., with Thomas Jefferson-led Democratic-Republicans tending to sympathize with France in foreign policy. Their loyalty was called into question by the Federalists. It was a dangerous time both for the security of the young Republic and the freedoms its citizens enjoyed.
Birth of a Nation, the NAACP, and the Balancing of Rights(Grades 9-12)
In this lesson students learn how Birth of a Nation reflected and influenced racial attitudes, and they analyze and evaluate the efforts of the NAACP to prohibit showing of the film
Norman Rockwell, Freedom of Speech—Know It When You See It(Grades 9-12)
This lesson plan highlights the importance of First Amendment rights by examining Norman Rockwell’s painting of The Four Freedoms. Students discover the First Amendment in action as they explore their own community and country through newspapers, art, and role playing.
Witch Hunt or Red Menace? Anticommunism in Postwar America, 1945-1954 (Grades 9-12)
Americans emerged from World War II as the only major combatant to avoid having its homeland ravaged by war, the U.S. economy was clearly the strongest in the world, and, of course, the United States was the only country in the world to possess that awesome new weapon, the atomic bomb. However, over the next five years relations between the United States and the Soviet Union went from alliance to Cold War.
Twelve Angry Men: Trial by Jury as a Right and as a Political Institution(Grades 9-12)
Twelve Angry Men, originally written for television by Reginald Rose in 1954 and subsequently adapted for stage (1955), film (1957) and television again (1997), effectively conveys the central importance of the right to a jury trial afforded by Article III of the Constitution as well as Amendments V, VI, and XIV.