NH Civics is pleased to share with you a library of civics curricula created by NH teachers between 2015 and 2019 and inspired by a NH Civics teacher professional development opportunity. See below the various topics around which we have organized the curricula; you can search by topic, keyword, or grade level. These curricular resources were edited by NH Civics Trustees, graduate students and a professor from Plymouth State College, and a high school civics teacher. We hope these teacher-created resources are helpful, relevant, and that they make increased quality and quantity of civics instruction in NH possible. We aim to add to this library over time.
Critically evaluate the purpose of the structure of government.
Critically evaluate the purpose of the structure of government
This Civics course is designed to provide students with a fundamental and practical understanding of local, state and national government.
Students will be able to examine the U.S. Supreme Court’s power of judicial review and critique the various approaches justices take when interpreting the Constitution. Further, students will understand how the constitutional right to free speech has evolved over time.
Students will be able to analyze how the constitutional value of equality has changed over time.
Know the different rights guaranteed to the citizens of the United States and the reason the rights were created.
Engage in active political dialogue by investigating the process by which bills become law and writing a letter to a representative about a bill.
Students will be able to analyze how the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution over time impacts the balance of power between the federal and state governments within the United States.
The Constitution created a federal government whereby power is shared between the federal and state governments as well as the citizens. The Constitution delegates specific power to the federal government and under the Tenth Amendment reserves the remaining power to the states and to the people. However, over time Congress has attempted to expand federal power by placing conditions on the state receipt of federal funds as an extension of Congress’s spending power under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. The Supreme Court has approved these conditional spending programs as a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power but has placed requirements on them in order to ensure they do not go too far as to make them an unconstitutional exercise of power. Question still exist, however, as to whether or not these programs violate the very principles of federalism that form the foundation of our constitutional system of government.
The First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits Congress from abridging free speech and the Fourteenth Amendment has been interpreted to extend those prohibitions to state and local governments as well. Over time the Supreme Court has interpreted speech to extend to financial contributions to campaigns, political parties and other political organizations engaged in influencing election results. In addition, the Court has extended some rights of personhood to corporations, including protections of corporate speech against government infringement. Starting after the Watergate scandal, Congress has attempted at several junctions to limit the financial contributions of individuals and corporations to political entities. The Supreme Court, in response, has invalidated an increasing number of those restrictions as unconstitutional restrictions of free speech. Campaign finance regulations and the constitutional protection of free speech raise difficult and essential questions about the role and impact of money in elections and what constitutes an effective democracy.
Students will be able to analyze how the constitutional right of privacy and the definition of search and seizure have evolved over time.
Students will be able to identify the political rights of citizens of the United States.
The Constitution created a federal government based on the principle of eparation of powers among the branches in order to prevent the abuse of power so feared by our Founders. That separation of powers provides Congress with the power to tax, spend and borrow money while execution of those policies falls on the President. In addition, Congress has created a statutory debt ceiling that limits federal government borrowing, while at the same time passing spending policies that can and sometimes do exceed the very debt ceiling Congress has established, creating conflicting orders for the executive to enforce. Further complicating matters is the meaning of Section 4 of the Fourteenth Amendment regarding the validity of the public debt of the United States and the burdens Section 4 imposes on Congress and the President. These Constitutional issues could intersect and put the President in the precarious position of deciding the constitutionality and necessity of continuing to borrow money on behalf of the federal government in excess of the debt ceiling in order to avoid default.
Students will be able to understand the difficulty of mediating different perspectives on slavery in revolutionary period America.
In this three-part lesson, students will examine the tension between free expression in schools and limits on free speech.
The Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments slowed (but hardly eliminated) the pervasive racial discrimination that was a principal cause of the Civil War. The principle of equal protection is embodied in the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution and in general prohibits governments from passing laws that treat citizens differently without good reason. Racial discrimination has always been viewed under strict scrutiny by the Supreme Court, and other groups have successfully challenged federal and state laws as being indefensibly discriminatory. State laws have historically limited marriage to marriage between a man and a woman, yet over time more and more Americans began to challenge this conception of marriage and demanded marriage equality that allowed equal access to the benefits of marriage for same-sex couples. A series of legal challenges to state laws eventually resulted in the Supreme Court affirming the Constitution’s protection of marriage equality under the Fourteenth Amendment.
Understand the importance of precedents and Supreme Court rulings.
Create informed citizens and encourage civic engagement through the use of digital media by discussing current events in the context of the Constitution.
Students will understand how the constitution is a document that is constantly being debated, and that the there are multiple interpretations of the constitution.
Students will understand how the complexity of freedom of speech in schools in the 21st century.
Please contact us with any questions you may have about any of our programs or would like additional information.