An Approach to Teaching Religious Tolerance

The United States of America is a nation founded upon freedom. Our Founding Fathers attempted to frame a flexible document to live through the ages which would protect and promote freedom. It is the responsibility of the people in a democratic society to educate their children to understand our freedom, but also the responsibility that goes with it. The primary focus of this paper will be that of religious freedom. It is a sensitive subject area, but a critical one to developing an understanding of our rights as United States citizens.


The purpose of the activity "Arrest" is to give students first hand knowledge about an arrest of a classmate and his/her subsequent trial. Students become active participants in the legal process as they become witnesses, jurors and defendants in a trial simulation.

The Bill of rights is For Us

The purpose of this activity is to acquaint the students with the guaranteed rights of the Bill of Rights, and assist them to see the application of these rights in their daily lives. By the conclusion 0f this lesson students will be able to list the rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights and apply the rights to their daily lives.

How to Know if You Are a Democrat or Republican

This lesson "How to Know if You Are a Democrat or Republican" can be used for any political science class and will give students a good understanding of the political parties. It may be important to do some preliminary work on what political parties are.

Making Binding Agreements

Contracts, offer, and acceptance are the basic parts of the activities of a modern civilized society. Students do not realize how many of their everyday activities constitute making and keeping binding agreements. Their entire lives will be made up of these important aspects of the basic contract. This lesson will allow students to investigate these important agreements.

Civics Internet Learning Activity - Minnesota Political Leaders

This lesson plan is designed for the student to become familiar with one site with information on politicians. The procedures the student will need to follow are fairly clear and students with varying levels of Internet familiarity should be able to complete it. The politicians selected are from Minnesota, the instructor may modify the selection of politicians. This lesson will help the students to become familiar with using the Internet to find data for research. In addition students will use the information on three political leaders, gleaned on the Internet to discuss political beliefs of our leaders.

The Constitution - Behind Closed Doors

The formation of the Constitution in 1787, took place in a climate of conflicting values, as to the role of a national government and meeting the expectations of the states and the people. Each delegate contributed to the framework of the Constitution through deliberations, debates and compromises. These activities will promote investigation, research and debate. Through the process of simulation, students gain insight into the special interests delegates brought to the convention and the compromises made in order to form the most revolutionary document on the history of the world.

The Declaration Versus The Communist Manifesto

Students fail to connect the American governmental system with values and beliefs, but think government is for self-aggrandizement; they do not see value in equal opportunity as opposed to equality of position or condition. In this activity a student will be challenged to see if he or she can discern the difference between the values found in the Declaration of Independence (and consequently, is a part of our system) and those of the Communist Manifesto.

Evaluating Crimes

This activity is a good introduction on a unit of Criminal Law. Students will learn that a crime is something one does or fails to do in violation of a law; or it can also be behavior for which government sets a penalty. Decisions as to what constitutes a crime are made by legislatures. The purpose of this activity is to make students aware there is no concrete consensus as to what is a crime, the seriousness of crimes, or variances of actions that change "noncriminal" behavior to "criminal" behavior.

Foreign Policy Simulation

This activity is a simulation in which students role play to solve various foreign policy problems. This activity is intended to help students understand how various elements of the US foreign policy system operate and to give them practice in conflict resolution.

Forming a Government

The purpose of this unit is to force students to think about the basic questions of government. Why do we need government, what should it do, and what form should it take? As a result of completing the activities, students will demonstrate skills and understanding an imaginary situation where a state of nature exists. And define republic, democracy, anarchy, autocracy, aristocracy, and plutocracy.

Western/Pacific Literacy Network/CNN SF Learning Resources

A major purpose of this Web site is to provide current news stories to students with reading levels that are not high enough to read and understand standard newspaper articles. A variety of interactive learning activities help reinforce and provide greater understanding of what is presented on the screen. Teachers can use the lessons for group activities and students can work at their own pace for individualized learning