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Justice Learning: Lesson Plans for Current Issues,

NPR's Justice Talking and The New York Times Learning Network

Justice Learning provides lesson plans and classroom activities on a wide range of issues. Each issue challenges students to think about complex issues, such as free speech in classrooms. Some exercises encourage students to deal with more difficult issues, such as cross burning and free speech or capital punishment and juvenile offenders. Each issue challenges one to think within a national, state, local, or classroom context. At the end of each lesson plan, there is a list of “Other Information on the Web.” Researchers on any topics covered on the website may find these links a good jumping-off point for their studies.

U.S. Constitution Guide,

NPR's Justice Talking and The New York Times Learning Network

This website provides a point-by-point explanation of the U.S. Constitution. Each page includes the text of an article or amendment, as well as an in-depth explanation of the meaning and historical context. It can be very helpful for anyone trying to understand the sometimes dense text of the U.S. Constitution. Another useful learning technique is contrasting the development and text of the U.S. Constitution with the Virginia Constitution.

The ReDistricting Game,

USC Annenburg Foundation

The ReDistricting Game teaches students about the challenges and potential of redistricting, as well as the problem of gerrymandering. The website features five different games: Fundamentals, Partisan Gerrymander, Bipartisan Gerrymander, Voting Rights Act, and Reform. Each game has both a basic and advanced level, as well as links to further information. The game can serve as the foundation for a classroom discussion on gerrymandering in Virginia, or a fun independent learning session for anyone who wants to know more about the difficulties of gerrymandering.

Our Courts – Build a Curriculum,

Sandra Day O'Connor, Georgetown University and Arizona State University

The Our Courts website is a resource started by former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to help students gain more understanding of civics. The curriculum builder includes lesson plans organized both by state (i.e., Virginia) and topic. Although most lesson plans are aimed at grades 5–8, they can be adapted for older students. Games are also under development, which can be played alone or with a classroom group.

U.S. Courts Educational Outreach,

Office of U.S. Courts

This website offers classroom materials on courtroom simulations, contemporary court cases, and other classroom activities. One courtroom simulation involves downloading music and movies, which is particularly relevant to students’ lives. The website also has interactive Double Jeopardy and Who Wants to Be a Million-Dollar Citizen games related to trivia about the judicial branch.

Local government websites,

Commonwealth of Virginia

This website is a directory of city, county, town, community, commission, and other local government websites. Virginians can find information regarding their own community or other local governments throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.