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Schools using Literacy & the Law material awarded Civic Learning Award!

View the Civic Learning Award Letter

A Mock US Supreme Court Hearing: The Metal Bladed Kirpan and the Free Exercise Clause

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No David!  

Testimonial from Pam Chiraichigno, LA Unified 4/5 Combo

“It was fabulous!  The kids loved it…everything flowed, one lesson was connected to the next…good variety of methods and opportunities for learning.”

“The theatre was such a motivator – each group performed for each other…revisited, went over, a new performance by a group was the focus for each morning.”

“Lesson on vocab was a huge hit as well.  I assessed that they got the big idea by observing their conversations and their writing.”

Testimonial from “Monica” in Brawley, 1st grade

“My students were asking for social studies!  They didn’t want to go to the assembly because they were fascinated with No David!”

“I did the Mock Trial in chunks, whole group, and then groups took videos of themselves.”

“Everything was embedded in reading, no H/SS allowed!”

“I created a spelling list and used photos for understanding…”

“They practiced the writing prompt three times before the final copy.”

“I just wanted you to know that the 7th grade students at Roosevelt Middle truly enjoyed performing the Mock Trial for David. We are teaching the rest of the lessons to prepare the students to write the argumentative essay. Our principal, assistant principal, counselor and a district office person observed the role play and were impressed with student’s engagement and enthusiasm. I want to thank you for sharing with me such a creative curriculum.” – AVID Coordinator and 7th grade Teacher

“I began the persuasive/argument this afternoon but didn’t get as far as I’d
hoped because the kids had SO many questions about court, jury duty, and
on and on!  They are a really inquisitive group!”

No David, 5th Grade

“I LOVE the No David activities and do it every year since I came to your awesome workshop.  I’ve shared it with other teachers at my district!”

Journey to Topaz

6th Grade Students Testimonials:

“I loved going to the court and performing the play…This civics unit really helped us develop a better understanding of our country and it’s past.  Learning about Fred Korematsu’s internment and the Supreme Court Case helps me realize what the country did and how to prevent it in the future.”

“We did a lot of research to write a strong legal argument…”

“A judge shouldn’t let their party reference or the public’s opinion affect their decisions, as cases must be decided solely on facts and the law.”

6th Grade Students, Encinitas Union Elementary:

“Before being educated on Civics, I was not knowledgeable on its importance. Now, I am fully informed and fascinated and found a love for civics! This might be the job for my future!”

“At First, I thought Civics only applied to adults that have violated the law, but now I know that Civics applies to all of us at every second of the day!”

“I thought Civics had little importance, but now I realize that Civics is the most significant thing in our nation. Our whole country is built upon Civics.”

“Before our unit on Civics, I couldn’t even define the word “Civics” now, I know Civics is about being fair. When we learned about the Japanese Internment camps, the court system, and the Bill of Rights, each of these activities gave me a clearer view of the importance of learning about Civics and how this effects my past, present and future.”

The First Amendment

Testimonial from Peter Paccone, 12th Grade Teacher

“I teach U.S. Government, and every semester I look forward to putting before my students this interesting, informative, and engaging unit of study, using an actual case to illuminate the details of the First Amendment.

The issue raised in this unit typically divides a class in half, with one side believing that Sikh school children should be allowed to bring a Kirpan to school; the other side saying absolutely not. This unit certainly provided students with the opportunity to write arguments, debate, and
analyze the fact patterns of the case and relate them to what is written in the Constitution.”