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Lesson Plan

That's Not Fair! Examining Civil Liberties With the U.S. Supreme Court

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That's Not Fair! Examining Civil Liberties With the U.S. Supreme Court

Grades 9 – 12
Lesson Plan Type Unit
Estimated Time Seven or eight 45-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Lauretta D. Doyle

Hollandale, Wisconsin


International Literacy Association



From Theory to Practice



In this lesson, high school students work in groups to explore the issue of civil liberties by conducting Internet research on related court cases of their choosing. Working in heterogeneous groups allows for social interaction and fun in the learning process, while also promoting positive interdependence and practicing of research skills. To summarize their findings, groups create PowerPoint presentations to share with the class.

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Rekrut, M.D. (1997). Collaborative research. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 41(1), 2634.

  • Use research-proven grouping practices to ensure greater success in a collaborative research project. How research groups are formed may have considerable influence on how the students interact, what they learn, and what they produce.

  • Provide instruction in summarizing prior to having students begin their research. This helps students avoid plagiarism, sharpens their sense of what constitutes a main idea and its significant details, and enhances recall.

  • Make research findings public, rather than something seen only by the teacher. Writing for publication is real writing, even if the audience is the rest of the class.

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