Defining Equality - Virtual

Editor: Corey Genest

General Description

Students will be able to analyze how the constitutional value of equality has changed over time.

Students will understand that:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court is the supreme authority over the meaning of the U.S. Constitution and has changed its interpretation of the Constitution over time.
  • While the concept of equality was included in the Declaration of Independence, its meaning has changed over time.
  • The Fourteenth Amendment prohibits states from denying any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
  • Decisions of the Supreme Court have a profound impact on everyday lives of American citizens.
  • Changing interpretations of constitutional values allow the Nation’s founding document to keep up with the times.

Essential Questions:

  • How has the principle of equality changed over time?
  • Why was the Fourteenth Amendment adopted?
  • Is preferential treatment consistent with the constitutional value of equality?
  • How far have we gone as a country in achieving equality for all?
  • How far do we still have to go as a country to achieve equality for all?
  • How does the Constitution keep up with the times?

Students will know:

  • Important terms regarding equality and the Fourteenth Amendment.
  • Key facts about the Fourteenth Amendment and how the Supreme Court has interpreted it over time.
  • Key Supreme Court cases on equality and the Fourteenth Amendment.

Students will be able to:

  • Recognize, define, and use vocabulary in context.
  • Research Supreme Court cases and recent news on equality and the Fourteenth Amendment to add depth to their understanding of its development over time.
  • Express their learning orally during class discussions and in writing.
  • Collaborate successfully with their peers to improve and express their learning.

Learning Activities & Assessments:
In these activities students will construct a definition of equality; trace the evolution of equality over the course of American history; and consider how the constitutional value
of equality is applied in practical terms.

Materials and Documents

I enjoyed the content-oriented approach. Having such an engaging speaker was awesome.
- Teacher, 2015
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