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Judicial Activism and Restraint Teacher Resources
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Twelfth graders determine how the Supreme Court has changed over time. In this Judicial Branch lesson, 12th graders watch a video segment about polling and the conduct their own polls of the public's view of judicial activism and judicial restraint. Students collect, interpret, and share their data.
Students investigate the influence of political and societal forces on judicial decisions. Among the topics they examine are the selection of judges and the cause and effect relationship between politics, society, and the law. to conclude, students write essays expressing a decision on the constitutionality of same-sex marriages.
Introduce public policy and persuasive writing with a well-designed activity for junior high learners. The writers develop a stance on whether cities should have natural or green places within a half a mile of all residents. Included are worksheets that aid in class debate, and help focus the students' stance on the issue. The lesson also reinforces the core ideas of freedom and American constitutional democracy, and includes a timed writing prompt concerning the effect of home sale prices that are next to parks. All material is easily modified to suit the needs of the instructor, although the design of this project would enlighten the students on the workings of their town and neighborhood where they live.
Persuade your pupils to take a stance on a variety of issues. Warm up with an activity that has class members walk to a yes or no sign based on their opinion. They then fill out a graphic organizer with persuasive arguments. After they are done practicing, writers evaluate information about video games, compose persuasive letters, and send final drafts of their letters to government officials. All materials are included. A well-designed and comprehensive instructional activity.
Relate policy decisions to classroom activities. In order to prepare for a writing activity in which they will need to choose a side, learners are first given a sample policy for which they must choose yes or no and walk to the side of the room with that label. They then write a persuasive essay about television and children. The essay is timed to mimic a testing environment. All materials are included.
Students use the newspaper as a tool to make connections about what the five freedoms guarantee in the First Amendment. In this first amendment lesson plan, students analyze events in the newspaper to form conclusions about the freedoms of the First Amendment. Students develop critical thinking skills, decision-making, summary, writing, problem solving, and researching.
Young scholars examine the major decisions by the Supreme Court when Warren was the Chief Justice. In groups, they research the life and other works of Earl Warren and discuss how ones background can influence decisions. They also examine the two cases of Brown v. Board of Education and those cases affecting criminal procedures.
Examine the results of recent opinion polls on where people stand on the issue of the death penalty. In groups, middle schoolers examine various cases dealing with this issue and discuss the judgments. They write their own argument for or against the death penalty and participate in a debate to end the lesson.