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Teacher’s Portal (American Bar Association)


Found in: social studies; preK-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12

The American Bar Association’s Teacher’s Portal provides lesson plans (PDFs) in civic engagement, the Constitution, due process, human rights, and more as well as other resources for K-12 teachers and students of social studies, civics, law, and government. The lesson lists National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies.

Elementary lessons are organized under eight topic headings. Under “Separation of Powers” is Connecting the Separate Powers, in which students use role-play and discussion to understand the separation of powers.

Middle School lessons are organized under sixteen topic headings. Under “Intellectual Property” is a lesson titled Music Distribution and Copyright, in which middle/high school students consider copyright law, especially its relevance in this technology-based era. A hypothetical copyright conflict illustrates the complexity of copyright law.

High School lessons are organized under twenty topic headings. Under “Law and Literature” is a lesson titled Jury of Her Peers Story Analysis, in which high school students analyze jury issues in Susan Glaspell's short story "A Jury of Her Peers" to examine the functions and makeup of juries in contemporary society. The lesson does not include a copy of Glaspell’s short story, but here is a PDF of “A Jury of Her Peers.” (PDF 1.3 MB, 19 pgs.) The short story is an adaption of Glaspell’s one act play Trifles. The play has parts for five student actors.

Other resources include Lessons on the Law, articles from Insights on Law & Society Magazine, and professional development opportunities.

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