Civics Education Resources
Resources for Judges and Lawyers (PDF)
15 Game Changing American Trials
This is an excellent website, which is described as follows: The history of the United States is closely tied to the justice system. Many court cases have set precedents for future trials in the country. Here’s a look at 15 of the most important and famous court cases in United States history.
American Values Are, LLC designs discussion guides to promote nonpartisan dialogue on the values that shape and sustain our democracy. These guides, which can be viewed on-line, link to actual historic documents and promote the development of critical thinking skills. American Values Are, LLC also offers other online resources for understanding dialogue and civic engagement.
The Bill of Rights Institute has outstanding lesson plans and reading materials on numerous constitutional issues and provides constitutional background for constitutional issues in the news, especially those that affect students.
CHARACTERplus provides a variety of effective character education programs and services to schools, including access to nationally recognized experts, a series of advanced training workshops, certification in character education, a leadership academy for administrators, collegial networking, character education conference, consulting, and resources.
How Does Our Government Work? Coloring Book
This is a coloring and activity book that talks about rules and how our government works at both the federal and state levels.
What Do Lawyers And Judges Do? Coloring Book
This is a coloring book that describes the various roles of judges and lawyers.
Constitutional Rights Foundation – USA
The Constitutional Rights Foundation. The Constitutional Rights Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan, community-based organization dedicated to educating America’s young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society. The Constitutional Rights Foundation develops, produces, and distributes programs and materials to teachers, students, and public-minded citizens all across the nation.
Cornell Legal Information Institute
The Cornell Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School is a not-for-profit group that believes everyone should be able to read and understand the laws that govern them, without cost. They carry out this vision by:
- Publishing law online, for free.
- Creating materials that help people understand law.
- Exploring new technologies that make it easier for people to find the law.
The Center for Civic Education The Center for Civic Education specializes in civic/citizenship education, law-related education, and international educational exchange programs for developing democracies. Programs for teachers and students focus on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights; American political traditions and institutions at the federal, state, and local levels; constitutionalism; civic participation; and the rights and responsibilities of citizens.
Deliberating in a Democracy is designed to promote the teaching and learning of democratic principles and the skills of civic deliberation, and to increase the knowledge, ability, and dispositions of high school teachers and their students to effectively participate in deliberations of controversial issues related to democratic principles.
Find Law is an excellent resource for court cases and articles on constitutional issues.
iCivics is an excellent resource for teaching about all three branches of the federal government. This program was developed under the leadership of former Supreme Court Justice, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. Justice O’Connor is a stalwart supporter of effective civic education opportunities.
Free curriculum to help middle school teachers teach about the right to trial by jury and other constitutional liberties.
Landmark Supreme Court Cases is provided by Streetlaw and is an outstanding resource for lesson plans on landmark court cases. The lesson plans provide reading levels and activities for elementary, middle and high school students.
Oyez (pronounced oh-yay), a free law project from Cornell’s Legal Information Institute (LII), Chicago-Kent College of Law and Justia.com, is a multimedia archive devoted to making the Supreme Court of the United States accessible to everyone. It is a complete and authoritative source for all of the Court’s audio since the installation of a recording system in October 1955. Oyez offers transcript-synchronized and searchable audio, plain-English case summaries, illustrated decision information, and full text Supreme Court opinions. Oyez also provides detailed information on every justice throughout the Court’s history and offers a panoramic tour of the Supreme Court building, including the chambers of several justices.
Street Law, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing practical, participatory education about law, democracy, and human rights. Through its philosophy and programs, people are empowered to transform democratic ideals into citizen action. Street Law has developed dozens of publications and programs on practical law, crime prevention, conflict resolution, and youth advocacy for use in school systems, juvenile justice facilities, and community settings.
The National Archives provides lesson plans and activities using the primary founding documents of the United States—The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Teaching with primary documents encourages a varied learning environment for teachers and students alike. Lectures, demonstrations, analysis of documents, independent research, and group work become a gateway for research with historical records in ways that sharpen students’ skills and enthusiasm for history, social studies, and the humanities.
The National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center is an independent, non-partisan, and non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of, and appreciation for, the Constitution, its history, and its contemporary relevance, through an interactive, interpretive facility within Independence National Historic Park and a program of national outreach, so that “We the People” may better secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.
The United States Federal Judiciary
The federal judiciary’s educational resources are geared to the needs of high school teachers and their students. True-to-life courtroom simulations, lesson plans, classroom activities and handouts, interactive games, and homework help are ready for immediate use in classrooms and courtrooms. The materials and programs are designed to improve court literacy with teen-relevant, real-life applications of lessons in the law. The courtroom programs put a human face on the Judiciary and motivate willing participation in jury service.