Teacher Notes

Grade 12 Units 2 and 5

Lesson Purpose - to expose students to an issue presently being debated and to alternative viewpoints as they begin to become active citizens.

Language Arts Standards Grades 11-12:

Reading Comprehension: Students read and understand grade level appropriate material. They analyze the organizational patters, arguments, and positions advanced. Writing Strategies: Students write coherent and focused texts that convey a well-defined perspective and tightly reasoned argument. Listening and Speaking: Students formulate adroit judgments about oral communication. They deliver focused and coherent presentations of their own that convey clear and distinct perspectives and solid reasoning.

History-Social Science Standards Grade 12:

12.2 Students evaluate, and take and defend positions on the scope and limits of rights and obligations as democratic citizens, the relationship among them, and how they are secured, in terms of 12.2.1 the meaning and importance of each of the rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights and how each is secured 12.5 Students summarize landmark U.S. Supreme Court interpretations of the U.S. Constitution and its amendments in terms of the changing interpretations of the Bill of Rights over time. 12.6 Students evaluate issues regarding campaigns for national state and local elective office in terms of the means that citizens use to participate in the political process. 12.7.6 Students analyze and compare the powers and procedures of ... governments and the process of lawmaking at each ... level including the role of lobbying and media.

Historical and Social Science Analysis Skills Grade 9-12:

Historical Research, Evidence and Point of View

4. Student construct and test hypotheses; collect, evaluate, and employ information from multiple primary and secondary sources; and apply it in written and oral presentations.

Historical Interpretation

1. Students show the connections, causal and otherwise, between particular historical events and larger social, economic and political trends and developments.

Adaptations for Special Needs Students:

Depending on your class size and language makeup, you may slow down, speed up or eliminate parts of this lesson to fit your students needs. This will be a particularly helpful lesson for students new to our country exposing them to the way public opinion can be made sometimes into law.

Cautions for the Teacher:

This is obviously a very controversial issue and much care should be taken when implementing it in your class. It is important for you not to seem biased toward any specific argument. Do this by stating and restating that the purpose of this lesson is to build understanding of the Constitution and the citizen's role in the political process when Constitutional interpretations are challenged. It would be wise to inform your school adminstrator in advance of assigning this activity.

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