Standard 1: Knowledge of the principles expressed in documents shaping constitutional democracy in the United States
Concept B: Role of citizens and government in carry out constitutional principles
Grade Level Expectations SS1 1.6, 4.2: Apply knowledge of responsibilities that government and citizens need to accept in order to carry out the principles in the Bill of Rights
Original Instruction: I have had our school resource officer (SRO) come in during a unit on the Bill of Rights to discuss how the rights enumerated within it apply to adolescents. For example, the right to free speech is limited somewhat among adults by the greater good of public safety (the “yelling fire in a crowded theater” debate). However, to teens some rights are not fully granted at all, such as gun ownership or freedom from search and seizure (since lockers are considered school property).
Original Assessment: Students were assessed in two ways. First, before the discussion, students submitted questions they wanted to have answered by the SRO. These questions were graded for relevance to the Bill of Rights. Second, during the discussion students received a participation grade reflecting their attention and engagement with the guest.
Revised Instruction: Instead of being restricted to input from a local school SRO, valuable as it is, I would revise this lesson to incorporate video conferencing. This would take a bit of work on my part to coordinate when various parties’ schedules would synch with class time. However, it would certainly be worth the effort to potentially have input from not only law enforcement but also lawyers, lawmakers, or perhaps even judges, at local, state, or national levels.
Revised Assessment: The basic assessment would be essentially the same. Students would submit questions ahead of the video conference and receive participation points during the activity. However, there is also an element of live chat that could be used as a way to assess student engagement during the discussion.