in Writing to Read Democracy in New York State & The United States
Created by Prof. Seth Halvorson & Dr. Erica Kaufman
Bard College Institute for Writing & Thinking
NYS Common Core Grades 11 & 12:
United States History and Government Participation in Government and Civics
This document-based sequence of activities invites students to chart the dialog between the New York State Courts, the Federal Courts, and other State Courts regarding the scope of individual rights. Generally speaking, New York State Courts are more protective of individual rights than Federal Courts and more so than other State Courts as well. The central question is: How have the New York State Courts understood the scope of individual rights?
Using the New York State Constitution and US Constitution, this activity blends IWT’s writing to read strategies with students’ understanding of what the rights of NYS citizens are through individual and collaborative critical thinking. The end goal of this activity is to engage in reflective process talk focused on the two documents placed in conversation.
This unit plan meets the following guidelines of New York State’s Common Core Social Studies Framework (2017):
- Social and Economic Change/Domestic Issues: 11.10b
- Foundations of American Democracy: 12.G1d, 12.G1e
- Civil Rights and Civil Liberties: 12.G2a, 12.G2b, 12.G2c, 12.G2d, 12.G2f
Lesson Overview PDF
IWT’s Core Writing (& Reading) Practices PDF
Document Packet PDF
Freedom of Expression in the NYS Constitution PDF
The First and Fourth Amendments to the US Constitution PDF
The Historical Society’s website contains a wealth of related resources related to this unit.
New York State Constitution
New York & Ratification of the Federal Constitution
Writing to Read Democracy: Guided Document Analysis
Writing to Read Democracy: Case Law Jigsaw