Nebraska State Bar Foundation

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Law-Related Education Constitution Day Constitution Day Resources

Constitution Day Resources

The Nebraska State Bar Foundation and the Nebraska Supreme Court join together to bring you resources for celebrating Constitution Day. Below are links to several outstanding websites with everything from general information about the United States Constitution to lesson plans for all grades.


September 17, 2014


Classroom Activities and Resources for Teachers

General Resources
Local Events and Resources
Other Resources

Classroom Activities and Resources for Teachers

Citizenship and Immigration Services
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

  • Citizenship Through Naturalization
  • The Naturalization Test (includes online practice)
  • Naturalization Ceremonies
  • Citizenship Resource Center (includes a section for teachers)

iCivics
http://www.icivics.org/
Play the Immigration Nation game.

All Grades

Civics Renewal Network – New!
http://civicsrenewalnetwork.org/
The Civics Renewal Network is an alliance of 26 nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations that provide free online classroom resources for civics education. Some of the partners include the American Bar Association, the Center for Civic Education, and the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Resources from all of the partners may be found from this website. By searching Featured Content, resources may be sorted by Subject, Grade, Issue, Constitutional Article, Resource Types, Teaching Strategies, Standards, and by a particular organizational partner.

American Bar Association Division for Public Education
http://www.abaconstitution.org
Here you will find the Preamble, all seven Articles, and the 27 Amendments, including the Bill of Rights. You may also link to Landmark Cases of the United States Supreme Court. Conversation Starters suggest thought-providing topics, and several lesson plans are provided.

Center for Civic Education – Citizens, Not Spectators
http://new.civiced.org/cns-teachers/lesson-plans
This is a teacher-tested voter education curriculum. It provides lessons for upper elementary, middle, and high school classrooms.

Constitutional Rights Foundation
http://www.crf-usa.org/constitution-day/constitution-day-lesson-plans-kindergarten-middle-and-high-school.html
Provides free online resources including lessons for K-12. The K-2 lesson title is The Tired King. Grades 3-5 titles: Mr. Madison Needs Some Help, and Trouble in Gold Flats; Grades 6-8 titles: Rome: Republic to Empire; The Federalist Papers. Grades 9-12 titles: Aristotle: In Search of the Best Constitution; Diversity and Equality; Constitution and Governance; Foundations of Our Constitution; and Bill of Rights in Action Archive. Arizona's SB 1070 and State Policing of Immigration is news.

A Visitor from Outer Space is listed as being suitable for Grades 3-12. Additional resources for Grades 3-5 are Boston Plays with one-page scripts. For Grades 5-12, A More Perfect Union slide show prompts questions to be answered in pairs. Teachers need to log in to access the free resources.

National Constitution Center
http://constitutioncenter.org/constitution-day/
NEW and Coming Soon—Constitution Hall Pass! Video lessons and live chats about the Bill of Rights, providing a behind-the-scenes look at the first 10 amendments. All that is needed is an internet connection to tune in at constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday.

Which founder are you? Discover you "inner founding father" in a fun, interactive game on this webiste.

Elementary

Scholastic
http://www.scholastic.com
From the home page, go to Teachers. Enter "Constitution" in the Search box, and you will be taken to lists of Resources, Ideas, and Activities (including free articles and lesson plans), Book Information, and Printables (some of these may require a subscription).
NOTE: The website also provides lessons and resources for middle and high school students.

Middle School

The Bill of Rights Institute
http://billofrightsinstitute.org/resources/educator-resources/constitution-day-resources/
A fun game, Fight for Your Rights, a SMARTboard resource. Constitution Duel – take the 15-question quiz as an individual or with a team. Come back often, as there are several quizzes with different questions. Also, "Constitutional Principles" videos with viewing guides. "Life Without the Bill of Rights" and "Madison's Note Are Missing games are also accessible via this web page.

NOTE: Other lesson plans for middle and high school are provided on this web site.

High School

Annenberg Classroom
http://www.annenbergclassroom.org/
A website with a Constitution curriculum, which includes: Constitution Guide, Teaching the Constitution, Videos, Timelines, Issues, Games and Interactives, PDF Timelines, Books, PDF Lesson Plans, and iBooks.

The National Archives
http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-day/
Find biographies of the 39 delegates who signed the Constitution; a simulation of the Constitutional Convention, issues related to ratification; reestablishment of the Navy ; and fascinating facts about the Constitution. Also: Teaching with Documents: U.S. Constitution Workshop at http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-workshop/index.html.

NOTE: Teaching with Documents provides resources suitable for grades 4-12.

Sunnylands Classroom
http://www.sunnylandsclassroom.org/ShowPage.aspx?PageId=12
2011 Materials:
Constitution Day Resources, featuring interactive educational games: The Bill of Rights; The First Amendment; and The Constitution Convention. Four additional games have been produced in partnership with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's iCivics project: Branches of Power; Executive Command; LawCraft; and Court Quest. New videos made available in 2012 were "A Conversation on the Constitution: Search and Seizure," 17 minutes and "Search and Seizure: Mapp v Ohio," 25 minutes.

Street Law, Inc.
http://www.streetlaw.org
From the home page, select Resource Library. Then, narrow your search for free resources by type, subject, audience, program, or topic.

General Resources

The Library of Congress - THOMAS
http://thomas.loc.gov/teachers/constitution.html
Includes primary documents, lesson plans, and resources for all grade levels.

The Constitutional Sources Project
http://www.ConSource.org
The nonprofit, non-partisan online resource is designed for online research and education. It offers free public access to a comprehensive library of source documents related to the U.S. Constitution.

Local Events & Resources

Nebraska Supreme Court and Nebraska State Bar Foundation
-Connecting teachers with judges and lawyers for classroom presentations
The Supreme Court and the Bar Foundation will assist teachers in securing an attorney or judge to visit the classroom and make a presentation. If you are not acquainted with a judge to invite to your classroom, contact Janet Bancroft, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . If you need assistance finding an attorney for a classroom visit, contact Doris Huffman, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Voters' Guide
http://www.supremecourt.ne.gov/7286/voters%E2%80%99-guide-nebraska%E2%80%99s-judicial-retention-elections
A web page updated to include information on resources for the retention election of judges. The site explains what a retention election is and why Nebraska has retention elections.

Also, check out Secondary Classroom Resources on the theme, "Civic Education—Keeping Our Democracy Alive," that were prepared for the 2013 Law Day celebration for secondary classes.
http://www.nebarfnd.org/law-day-essay-contest.

The Bar Foundation will make its four-DVD set of the PBS series, The Supreme Court, available for loan to teachers. Simply send an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to inquire about borrowing this resource for up to two weeks.

Nebraska State Bar Foundation’s Mock Trial Cases
http://www.nebarfnd.org/mock-trial

2013 Mock Trial Case - Chris Deeds vs. Syl Wifferspoon
This civil case involves allegations that the Defendant, by trying to force the Plaintiff out of his/her apartment, illegally discriminated against and cause personal injury to Plaintiff.

2012 Mock Trial Case – State of Nebraska vs. Dakota Thundercloud
This criminal case is about a high school teacher who is charged with bribing students to vote a particular way in a matter of local interest.

2011 Mock Trial Case – Phoenix O. Perdante vs. Dalton Academy
This is a civil case in which a student sues a rival mock trial school for slander when that coach's accusation of cheating coasts a mock trial student a full ride scholarship to college.

2010 Mock Trial Case – State of Nebraska vs. Alex B. Toakliss
This criminal case involves the death of a college student at a Halloween party.

2009 Mock Trial Case - IN THE MATTER OF Kev Inruser A23 571 113
In removal proceedings

This civil case involves a foreign citizen in a removal proceeding. The process for the asylum seeker is complicated by evidence that he/she was involved in persecuting others under the now deposed government of his/her home country.

2008 Mock Trial Case – State of Nebraska vs. Chris Byrd
This criminal case involves procurement of alcohol for a minor.

2007 Mock Trial Case – A & M Records, Inc., et al vs. K.C. Jones
This civil case is a copyright infringement suit brought by several recording companies against a college student for allegedly downloading and sharing music.

2006 Mock Trial Case – State of Nebraska vs. Willie Flounder
A criminal case involving an attempted murder charge against a student for the shooting of another student. The defendant claims s/he was legally insane at the time of the incident. The case points up the problem of bullying and provides opportunities for discussing ways individuals and schools may respond.

2005 Mock Trial Case – Pat Christianson vs. William Jennings Bryan Public High School
A First Amendments rights case. It centers around the Student Council election at WJBHS where the principal, Dr. Eddie U. Cation, has told Pat that she will be allowed to participate as a candidate for student body president only if she eliminates her religious rhetoric from the campaign. Pat refuses to comply with the school’s mandate to purge her campaign message of any religious references. She maintains that her First Amendment rights have been violated and seeks a resolution by filing a lawsuit. Also posted at this site are relevant case law summaries and suggested additional readings.

United States Courts
http://www.uscourts.gov/educational-resources/get-inspired/annual-observances/constitution-day.aspx
Offerings include:

  • "Constitution Preamble – School house Rock" – YouTube video
  • "To Establish Justice" PowerPoint
  • The United States Constitution on ourdocuments.gov
    Find out which documents We the People chose in a recent vote as the most influential in U.S. history.

Other Resources

Nebraska Secretary of State - Elections
http://www.sos.ne.gov/dyindex.html#boxingName

This site provides information for voters in the following categories:

  • 2014 Elections
  • General Voter Information
  • Military Voters
  • County Election Officials
  • Overseas Voters
  • Voter Information Center
  • Information for Candidates
  • Voter Forms
  • Previous Elections
  • Student Voters
  • Information in Spanish
  • More Links

Reaching the Age of Majority Booklet – Nebraska State Bar Foundation
http://www.nebarfnd.org/age-of-majority
Online booklet on rights and responsibilities for young people coming of age

You the Juror – Nebraska State Bar Foundation
http://www.nebarfnd.org/you-the-juror
Free juror orientation video on DVD or VHS

 

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