Lesson Plans

49 Result(s)
Grade Range
6-12
“From Time to Time”: Presidents and Communicating with the Public

From telegraphs to television to Twitter, how, why, and when presidents address the nation and global community has changed across U.S. history. This lesson examines the messages and mediums used by presidents and asks students to engage in point of view and change over time analyses as part of their evaluation of how presidents have communicated with the public in U.S. history.

Grade Range
6-12
A Day for the Constitution

Whether you are spending one class session examining the U.S. Constitution for Constitution Day this September 17th or more, our lesson activities have you covered. Here you will find questions, videos, and access to materials that can be amended and implemented to teach a Constitution Day lesson. An introduction and warm-up are provided, followed by three separate activities that can be used on their own or combined depending on the time allotted for Constitution Day. The lesson includes reflection questions and prompts for closure.

Grade Range
9-12
Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!: Simulating the Supreme Court

This lesson helps students learn about the judicial system through simulating a real court case involving student free speech rights. In addition to learning about how the Supreme Court operates, students will explore how the Supreme Court protects their rights, interprets the Constitution, and works with the other two branches of government.

Toni Morrison's Beloved: For Sixty Million and More

One of the most compelling novels of the twentieth century, Beloved by Toni Morrison has been read in classrooms across the country since its publication in 1987. The novel follows Sethe's escape to freedom, the murder of her child, and her difficult psychological journey as she copes with her past as a slave.  As both an historical account of the experiences of slavery and an insightful novel about a supernatural ghost, this text is ideal for upper level high school students and students in AP programs.

Grade Range
9-12
Lesson 2: The Question of Representation at the 1787 Convention

When the delegates to the Philadelphia Convention convened in May of 1787 to recommend amendments to the Articles of Confederation, one of the first issues they addressed was the plan for representation in Congress. This lesson will focus on the various plans for representation debated during the Constitutional Convention of 1787.

Grade Range
6-12
“Praise Song for the Day” by Elizabeth Alexander

This lesson plan is the seventh in the “Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community” series. It provides a video recording of the poet, Elizabeth Alexander, reading the poem “Praise Song for the Day” composed for President Barak Obama’s 2009 inauguration ceremony. The companion lesson contains a sequence of activities for use with secondary students before, during, and after reading to help them enter and experience the poem.

Grade Range
6-12
“Cotton Candy” by Edward Hirsch

This lesson plan is the fourth in the “Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community” series. It provides a video of the poet, Edward Hirsch, offering a little backstory, then reading the poem “Cotton Candy.” The companion lesson contains a sequence of activities for use with secondary students before, during, and after reading to help them enter and experience the poem.

Grade Range
6-12
“Every Day We Get More Illegal” by Juan Felipe Herrera

This lesson plan is the third in the “Incredible Bridges: Poets Creating Community” series. It provides a video of the United States Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, reading the poem “Every Day We Get More Illegal” and a companion lesson with a sequence of activities for use with secondary students before, during, and after reading to help them enter and experience the poem.

Lesson Three. The Power of the Majority over Thought

In Tocqueville’s discussion of how the majority in America constrains freedom of thought, he makes some of the most extreme criticisms against democracy. For example, he says “I do not know any country where, in general, less independence of mind and genuine freedom of discussion reign than in America”; and, “there is no freedom of mind in America.”

Lesson One. The Omnipotence of the Majority

In this lesson, students are introduced to Tocqueville’s argument about the “omnipotent” power of the majority in America and its consequences. After an initial statement that the “very essence” of democracy is majority rule, he contrasts the means by which state constitutions artificially increase the power of the majority with the U.S. Constitution, which checks that power.