Constitutional Rights

A Colorblind Constitution? (Grades 7-12)
This lesson from an issue of Insights explores the meaning of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Historical background of the "Colorblind Constitution" may be found here.

Case of the Professional Tap Dancer (Grades K-3)
Presents a scenario with conflicting rights—one likes to tap dance, and bothers the other. Participants resolve the dispute, brainstorm alternative solutions.

Does the Constitution Protect Your Right to Free Play? (Grades 4-6)
Explores constitutional guarantee of due process.

Equality Under Law (Grades 6-8)
Participants are split into groups, define "equality," then present and compare definitions. Ends with discussion about "equality," and status today.

Fundamental Freedoms (Grades 7-12)
Takes the scenario from Tinker v. Des Moines, Bethel School District v. Fraser, and New Jersey v. T.L.O., sets them in contemporary landscapes, then leads participants into discussion about student rights.

How do Increased Security Needs affect our Civil Liberties? (Grades 6-12)
Uses a political cartoon and discussion questions to explore tension between liberty and national security.

Individual Rights During Times of War (Grades 9-12)
This lesson from Insights explores the tension between liberty and national security during times of war. This interview with Judge Richard Posner, printed in an issue of Social Education also explores this topic.

Introducing the First Amendment (Grades 4-6)
Participants examine current newspaper articles, cross out those criticizing the government, then discuss what paper would look like without those pieces, importance of free press.

Regulating Electronic Speech (Grades 7-12)
This lesson from an issue of Insights explores how the First Amendment is used to regulate electronic speech, and how new challenges are emerging with new technologies. Historical background of the regulation of electronic speech may be found here.

Residential Property Signs (Grades 4-12)
Woman protests a city ordinance prohibiting her from displaying an antiwar sign in her window.

Search and Seizure (Grades 7-9)
Uses case of locker search, student searches in a time of crisis, and stolen library books to explore rights guaranteed by the 4th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Search Me: Understanding the Fourth Amendment (Grades 7-12)
Looks at student rights to privacy at school, home, in cars, and in public places, divides students into small groups to analyze, then regroup to discuss what laws can/cannot do.

What Does it Mean to Have Equal Protection Under the Law? (Grades 7-9)
Participants analyze scenarios and discuss the importance of equal protection under the law.