The Constitution

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Model Curriculum Unit Plan developed for the DESE
Details on each lesson plan

Constitutional Rights Model Unit Plan


Lesson 1 - Anticipation Guide

Minersville vs Gobitis case - Teachers Domain video
I hear/It means

Lesson 2 - Judicial Review

Election of 1800 campaign ads

Lesson 3 - The Bill of Rights Case Studies

Lesson 4 - The Patriot Act

Lesson 5 - Tools for Writing Arguments

Monty Python - Argument Clinic with subtitles - start around 1:18

List definitions of arguments you hear as you watch.
What definition of argument can you take away from this video clip?

Lesson 6 - Reading and Writing Closing Arguments



Lesson 7 - Evaluating Websites and Effective Research

  • Define the words "source," "bias," and "reliable."
  • Why is it important for resources to be reliable?

Evaluating Websites
For this activity, look through the following two websites. Spend some time exploring ALL links and pages for each site.

Website #1

Website #2

Thinking Critically about Websites
Answer the following questions about the websites above:
        • What characteristics make these websites so convincing?
        • What evidence is available to prove that these websites are hoax sites?
        • How can we determine if sources on the internet are reliable or not?
        • Which types of sources are reliable and in which circumstances?

Mark up the text - Website checklist
There are so many websites on the internet, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are true and which ones are fake. The following link is a useful tool to help you as you navigate through the internet.

Mark this up
Website link to document - better formatting
  • Summarize the usefulness of this webpage

Now you will apply this to researching your role in the final project based assessment for this unit:

Research Links
Pro-Con Patriot Act article 2005
Patriot Act renewal 2011 article
Pro-Con Civil Liberties
great quotes
Excessive Powers to Search - Pro-Con
great quotes - surveillance, wiretapping
Other great questions for research

Lesson 8 - CEPA - Final Performance Based Assessment: Senate Committee Hearing on the Constitutionality of the Patriot Act

Effective Public Speaking

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What should an effective public speaker do? Not do? List in the table below:



Watch the following clips and list what each speaker does well and what they don't do well:


Final reflection writing:
Reflect on your argument. Based on your participation in the Congressional Committee meeting, how would you vote if Congress put this question on the next General Election ballot?
Is your answer the same as before the meeting?
If so, explain why your opinion has not changed. If your opinion has changed, is there a committee that swayed your thoughts?
What specifically did they say to do so?

Branches of Government Review Games

The Constitution Lessons - Breaking it down

1). Preamble to the Constitution - page 170
    • Why did some state conventions dislike the opening statement, “We the People…?”
    • Why does the Preamble say “We the people of the United States…ordain and establish” the new government?

2). In 1-2 sentences each, Summarize each of the articles below. (Reference the sidebars to the articles on pp.171-185 or use the
Interactive Constitution
    • Article I – The Legislature
    • Article II – The Executive
    • Article III – The Judiciary
    • Article IV – Relations among States
    • Article V – Amending the Constitution
    • Article VI – Supremacy of National Government
    • Article VII – Ratification




6). Rank amendments 11-27 on how important students believe they are in the running of the government.

  • Why do some amendments seem to have more importance than others?
  • Should any of these amendments be removed?
  • Why or why not?

Constitution Review Quiz

Which Founder are you?