chevron-down Created with Sketch Beta.
May 01, 2014

Equal Protection Under Law

Grade Level:



In this lesson, students will analyze the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause. They will distinguish between identical treatment and equal treatment under the law, and discuss situations in which discrimination is acceptable – not letting a 6 year-old obtain a driver’s license, for example. The instructor can then introduce the three bases used by our courts for determining whether discrimination is in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment or not: the “strict scrutiny” test, the “intermediate scrutiny” test, and the rational basis test. Students will then practice applying these tests in an exercise, and experience first-hand the difficulty in deciding which test applies.


Time needed:

1 hour


Materials required:

Equal Protection Under Laws Lesson Plan 


National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, Council for the Social Studies:

Theme 6: Power, Authority, and Governance

Theme 10: Civic Ideals and Practices