Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of a middle school student.
LINK: Landmark Supreme Court Cases Home
LINK: About the Class
LINK: Watching the video
Connecting to Your Teaching
LINK: Standards
LINK: Resources

Connecting to Your Teaching

Image of a notebook with the following text displayed: Reflect: As you reflect on these questions, jot down your responses or discuss them in a group.

Reflecting on Your Practice

  • How would you use role-playing and simulation to study a complex issue related to your curriculum?
  • What challenges have you faced when conducting a simulation or role-play, and how have you addressed them?
  • What are some of the important non-negotiable ground rules that should be agreed upon by students and teachers before beginning a role-play or simulation activity?
  • What background knowledge and skills do students need for such a lesson to be successful?

Taking It Back to Your Classroom

  • Ask students to study the constitutions of other countries and create a profile of individual rights under different forms of government. Then have them compare the rights they have as American citizens to the rights of citizens of other countries.
  • Plan a simulation experience like the one in the video, using court cases that involve students' rights. For example, Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier (1988) involves the right of school administrators to censor student newspapers.
  • Ask students to research a current issue related to the First Amendment. For example, how close should anti-abortion protesters be allowed to get to women's health clinics? Have them study court rulings and present their findings and their own opinion in a paper structured like a court ruling.
  • Working in small groups, have students research and create historically accurate mock newspapers with lead stories about landmark Supreme Court cases. Allow students to use the rest of the paper to write about other key political and social issues of the same era. For example, a newspaper from June 1989, when Texas v. Johnson was decided, might also include stories about China and Tiananmen Square protests, European parliamentary elections, the NATO meeting in Brussels, our government's bailout of savings and loan banks, and President George H. Bush's anticrime plan.) This activity helps students place Supreme Court decisions in a historical context.

For related print materials and Web sites, see Resources.

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