Constitutional Law: Understanding the Constitution by Studying its History, Articles and Amendments
The Constitution is known by all of us, but do we really understand the historic document beyond sound bites and assumptions? This course will allow high school students to gain a better understanding of our federal government, our guaranteed rights and the public policy debates that influence Supreme Court decisions. Reading comprehension will be challenged, analytical skills will be sharpened, arguments will become more persuasive with the study of the Supreme Court cases that shape our life in every way.
This course will use An Introduction to Constitutional Law: 100 Supreme Court Cases Everyone Should Know. This is a unique and exciting way to really understand the material. The authors, Randy E. Barnett and Josh Blackman explain:
This multimedia platform combines a book and video series that will change the way you study constitutional law. An Introduction to Constitutional Law teaches the narrative of constitutional law as it has developed over the past two centuries. All students, even those unfamiliar with American history, will learn the essential background information to grasp how this body of law has come to be what it is today. An online library of sixty-three videos brings the Supreme Court’s one hundred most important decisions to life. These videos are enriched by photographs, maps, and even audio from the Supreme Court. The book and videos (with an access code) are accessible for all levels: law school, college, high school, home school, and independent study students.
We will spend class time analyzing the cases and applying the newly learned law to different fact patterns. We will respectively debate public policy that shape all decisions. Students will argue different sides of cases in mock hearings.
We will work with pending court cases to practice forming legal arguments. Then, we will listen to the actual oral arguments and see if that was the argument that the experienced legal teams representing the parties chose. We will then predict the decision of the Court from the questions asked during oral arguments and await the published decision in the spring to see if we were on the prevailing side.
In the end, we will learn American History, the law of the land and how to form persuasive arguments using facts and the law. We will discuss controversial topics, there is no avoiding it. We will probably become frustrated, at least once, with the inconsistent interpretation of the Constitution. We will become better students and better citizens.
Find the book here
Internet access and a device to watch videos and conduct research
An Introduction to Constitutional Law: 100 Supreme Court Cases Everyone Should Know.
*Must purchase the book or ebook new in order to obtain access to the video library.
Class Homework requirements: Weekly assignments
Grades: 9th -12th
Class Fee: $350
Supply Fee: $40
Tutor: Lisa Freeman